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Student Safety is Priority One for Liberty Hill ISD

Student Safety is Priority One for Liberty Hill ISD

 

Liberty Hill ISD Office of Communications | December 9, 2022

Liberty Hill, TX — Student safety is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts today, from parents to law enforcement to educators. 

For Liberty Hill ISD, safety has always been a top priority, and the district employs and continuously evaluates numerous technology measures and physical resources to ensure that LHISD students continue to learn in a safe and secure school environment.

Those measures include, but are not limited to:

  • additional security fencing at campuses

  • upgraded security cameras 

  • security film on doors

  • remodeling older campuses to make them more secure

  • rekeying to a single key district

  • emergency communications app for all staff

  • district-wide monitoring of school devices to detect threats and bullying

“Nearly all entries have access control systems,” said CTE Director Travis Motal. “We continue to install additional cameras at schools and are currently upgrading all of our cameras that will allow better viewing and easier access to security video.”

In addition to these measures, uniformed School Resource Officers maintain a physical presence on LHISD campuses, providing a vital layer of security for the district. They perform routine door checks, serve as a resource on legal issues, and perhaps most importantly, establish relationships with staff and students that build trust and open the door to more effective communication if the need to report suspicious activity arises. 

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To that end, LHISD has introduced the LHISD Anonymous Reporting program, accessible on the district homepage and all campus web pages, that allows students or any concerned party to anonymously report to law enforcement any illegal or concerning activity such as bullying, fighting, threats, drugs, weapons, personal safety, vandalism or more. LHISD is also a member of iWatch Texas, a statewide school safety reporting system that brings together law enforcement and resources to monitor and evaluate concerns and threats to school safety.

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In addition to these initiatives, district administrators complete established safety routines and weekly checks to ensure that the district’s safety and security plan operates as intended. They implement scheduled staff and student drills throughout the year and respond to unannounced drills that the district coordinates with first responders. 

This year, the state of Texas began the implementation of unannounced security checks to test the viability of such systems. “We had two audits this year and passed both with no concerns reported,” said Motal. “We feel confident that we are ready for any audit the state may ask us to complete.” 

Behind the scenes, school counselors develop crucial relationships that support students who may be struggling and are often the first to know of safety concerns that the district needs to be aware of.  Identifying students in crisis or dealing with emotional issues, and providing support and intervention, can be one of the most important components of school safety.

Obviously, many people play an important role in the effort to keep LHISD schools secure, and in light of that, the district held its first annual School Safety Summit in July to bring together 92 parents, community members, school staff, and first responders for a day-long dialogue about school safety priorities for the district. 

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“We hosted a guest speaker who highlighted the need for continued efforts for school safety improvements,” said Motal. “The feedback was to focus on communication, training, and reunification.” 

Motal said that students and parents can help keep campuses safe by reporting when they have concerns. “When you see something, say something,” he said. Motal also emphasized the importance of parents engaging in regular conversations with their children about staying safe at school and at outside school events. “The more these conversations happen on how to stay safe,” said Motal, “the better everyone will be able to respond.”

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In its continuous effort to evaluate safety and security measures, the district has established a school safety task force that meets four times a year. LHISD’s district-wide long-range planning committee, comprised of staff, parents, and community members, also meet to prioritize future school safety initiatives that future bond dollars can support:

  • reorganize all campus secure entry vestibules so that most transactions can be completed without the visitor entering the school 

  • continue to add security cameras to cover all interior and exterior areas

  • add secure fencing around all campuses

  • add security film to all entries and exterior windows

LHISD’s ongoing work to keep students safe is an effort that involves students, staff, parents, law enforcement, and the broader community.  Student safety is the district’s top priority, and it will continue to be going forward.

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LHISD Communications
communications@libertyhill.txed.net
512-260-5580