A look into how Wylie and Abilene ISD are stepping up their safety measures

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – With a new school year, comes new routines. Both Abilene school districts preparing for what this new year will bring.

“There’s some mental health programs that we’re going to bring in,” said Craig Bessent, Assistant Superintendent, Wylie ISD.

Bessent says, the district is making sure their kids are comfortable in their school’s atmosphere.

“Get those individuals that are maybe having issues and maybe get them on a better track. So, we’re going to do some assessments out there and so our whole key is to reach those kids,” said Bessent.

Wylie ISD has been a model for other districts to move towards campus safety.

“We think that’s probably one of the most important things to try and reach those kids that are falling back and isolated and we don’t know what happens go home and so we are going to work on that everyday with every person in our building,” said Bessent.

Earlier this year, Bessent was part of the President’s round table discussion on school security conducted by Governor Abbott. 

Abilene ISD’s school officials, following Wylie ISD’s lead in campus security.

“If you’ve got a visitor coming in they have to be properly screened, that’s where it starts. Coming in, getting you identification out, getting it verified, make sure you are on the contact list,” said Dan Cottner, Safety and Security Manager, AISD.

Cottner says, they are focused on the physical security at their schools and updating their software for better communication.

“Get on this application and send out an emergency alert that will go to everybody on our campus and it will go to first responders like the fire department and police department and it’s interactive,” said Cottner.

They are also adding tools that could mean the difference between life and death

“Each campus will be fixed with these bleeding control stations,” said Cottner.

Both districts have measures in place to contact parents if anything happens.

“If one of our school was to go to a lockout or lockdown, any of those things. The first thing we would do is make them aware on the website and then if they are registered at any of their children’s campuses. We have a way to push out with a text message, an email push out,” said Bessent.

If you would like to read more about their safety plans go to AISD’s plan here and Wylie ISD’s plan here.

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