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A letter to the Lamar CISD Community from Dr. Thomas Randle

May 21, 2018 | Community Relations

It is with great sadness that I write to you again on the subject of school safety, following another terrible tragedy—this time in Santa Fe ISD. In light of what happened, I’m sure many of you have concerns about what we’re doing to keep our schools safe.

Please know, we will always work diligently to keep safety at the forefront. As I wrote to you in February, the District has created a new position: School Safety Coordinator. On the night before the Santa Fe tragedy, the Lamar CISD School Board approved the hire of Rosenberg Police Chief Dallis Warren as our first School Safety Coordinator. In this new position, Warren will ensure all campuses are following best practices in school safety and that all staff and students are prepared for any kind of emergency. Warren has four decades of experience in law enforcement, including more than 25 years in administration. Our schools will certainly benefit from his experience and presence.

In the November bond election, we also included funding for “lockdown” devices—or mechanisms to ensure all classroom doors are reinforced. We reviewed several options with fire and law enforcement officials, before determining Homeland Security Locks are the most appropriate option moving forward. We already have these locks installed on 15 of our campuses. Moving forward, every new campus will include these locks and plans are in place to retrofit any existing campus without Homeland Security Locks.

Additionally, every one of our schools has a front entrance vestibule that provides pre-determined and monitored pathways for all visitors. We are examining each vestibule to ensure they include a locking mechanism that will prevent unwanted or unnecessary access to the campus.

Our campuses also have multiple surveillance cameras that monitor both the building perimeter and interior. These cameras are all accessible remotely by Lamar CISD administrators and law enforcement.

There are also dedicated School Resource Officers (SROs) on all secondary complexes. For the upcoming school year, we are adding six additional officers that will be assigned to cover our elementary schools, by feeder pattern. For the remainder of this year, you will begin seeing increased police presence on our campuses, which is typical for the final weeks of school. 

We believe these plans are very important first steps. That being said, keeping our schools safe will require ongoing dialogue. Please continue to share your thoughts, as we all work to maintain a safe and comfortable learning environment for our students and staff. 

Dr. Thomas Randle
Superintendent of Schools