Turlock Unified updates security measures after Texas tragedy

Turlock Unified School District officials are reinstating safety protocols that were altered during the pandemic in light of the recent school shooting that claimed the lives of 19 elementary students and two teachers in Texas.
“At TUSD, this hits us all hard, both personally and professionally. It reminds us to remain compassionate and mindful of how each of us reacts differently to situations like this. It also reinforces why we must remain diligent with the security protocols that we enhanced in TUSD six years ago. Our adherence to these security measures is what we can control as a school district at this time, knowing that there are many external factors that contribute to the unthinkable,” the District said in a statement.
During the pandemic, the district changed some of its safety protocols with the need for increased ventilation in classrooms. However, previous protocols will now be reinstated, including:

Revert to locking classroom doors during teaching hours;
Use door peepholes and/or nearby windows to see who is outside the classroom before allowing entry; and
Securing perimeter fences with single entry points.

The district also said it will restart its active threat training for staff next year and will also work to update school site security plans for consistency and uniformity.
In the Uvalde, Texas shooting on Tuesday, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos drove his pickup truck into a ditch behind Robb Elementary School. He then jumped in with an AR-15 style rifle, entered the school through an apparently unlocked door and into a fourth-grade classroom where he opened fire.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the first police officers arrived on the scene only 12 minutes after the accident and did not enter the school until four minutes later. They were then pushed back by shots from Ramos and took cover.
The crisis only ended after a group of Border Patrol tactical officers entered the school about an hour later, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. They engaged in a shootout with the shooter, who was locked in the fourth grade classroom. The confrontation ended with Ramos being shot down.
In 2013, TUSD had a rude awakening to its lack of security at the school site when a local law enforcement officer decided to film himself walking around Medeiros Primary School, pointing out lack of school security, such as short fences, open doors without locks and open. classroom doors.
Based on this information, TUSD established a security plan with regular security cohort meetings to discuss issues in the district and implement any necessary revisions.
Since then, installing security fencing on all TUSD campuses has been a priority and locked classrooms a policy.
In 2019, Turlock High School had an active shooter scare when someone called for a shooting on a campus radio. The report turned out to be wrong, but school officials and law enforcement did not know this at the time and responded appropriately.
The school was closed and law enforcement combed the campus with firearms looking for a shooter.
Although the incident caused undue concern among students, parents, staff and the community, it served as a valuable lesson in how to respond.

Along with updating safety protocols, TUSD said its 19 mental health clinicians are available for students who may have difficulty with news of recent events.

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