Last week Mansfield ISD Superintendent Dr. Cantu sent an email to all parents outlining new safety procedures in the district as well as the upcoming Town Hall. The Town Hall is scheduled for October 21, but parents have until Monday the 18th to fill out a form to express interest to serve on the district’s school safety committee.
Email From Dr. Cantu
Dear Mansfield ISD Community:
Our commitment as a district has been, and will continue to be, that every one of our students and staff members feel safe and secure when coming into our buildings.
With the events that transpired at Timberview High School last week, we have been taking an even closer look at our systems, analyzing what is working and assessing what needs to be improved upon.
Please know that we are forming ways in which the community can voice their input pertaining to school safety, and our school safety committee—comprised of students, staff, parents and community members—will be reestablished to help review systematic procedures and determine the next best steps.
In the meantime, we have implemented changes at all Mansfield ISD schools to enhance our safety and security processes even more. Effective immediately, MISD schools will have these heightened physical security measures:
The Mansfield ISD Police Department will be partnering with neighboring agencies to ensure that more law enforcement is available at our campuses.
There will be a designated staff member at the district level, who is fully trained in safety and security, to assist campuses in monitoring high-traffic and common areas in real time through our video surveillance systems.
In addition, random classroom checks will be implemented on our secondary campuses to check for weapons and other unauthorized objects using metal detector wands.
These protocols are in addition to our current Emergency Operations Plan and will remain in place until the safety committee finalizes its recommendations. Although the above measures go into effect immediately, the conversation with the community surrounding safety and security at our schools will be ongoing.
You will be receiving an invitation to attend a Town Hall Meeting in the near future. The meeting will be scheduled with the goal of opening a dialogue between MISD officials alongside law enforcement and district stakeholders. Additionally, it will provide an opportunity to ask questions and offer suggestions about student safety. We want to be proactive about safety, so topics like social-emotional learning and our threat assessment reporting will also be included in those conversations.
We take the safety, security and well-being of our students and staff very seriously, and it will remain our top priority. I appreciate your support and cooperation as we work through this process together.
After receiving this email many parents expressed their concerns about the new safety measures, specifically the random classroom checks or what some have referred to as secondary searched. They feel this may lead to a potential for bias with searches targeting minority students and possibly campuses with higher proportion of minority students.
Mansfield ISD Safety and Security Town Hall October 21
School safety and security is a top priority at Mansfield ISD. To partner with the community in an open dialogue about the topic, the district will host a Safety and Security Town Hall Meeting.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Dr. Jim Vaszauskas Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1110 W. Debbie Lane in Mansfield. All community stakeholders are invited to attend.
The meeting will feature a panel of community leaders and experts, including Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu, School Board President Michelle Newsom, Chief Greg Minter from the MISD Police Department, Chief Alexander Jones from the Arlington Police Department and Chief Tracy Aaron from the Mansfield Police Department. Bruno Dias, MISD’s Director of Safety, Security and Threat Management and a representative from Texas School Safety Center will also be part of the panel.
After a discussion about various safety topics, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions or share comments with the panel. The feedback given will help the district’s school safety committee—comprised of students, staff, parents and community members—which will review systematic procedures and determine the next best steps. Those interested in serving on the district’s school safety committee can fill out a form of interest. *The deadline to complete the form is Monday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m.
To ensure everyone has an opportunity to attend the Safety and Security Town Hall Meeting, there will be free shuttles located at Lake Ridge High School, Legacy High School, Mansfield High School, Summit High School and Timberview High School to take riders to and from the meeting location on Oct. 21. Shuttles will leave promptly at 5:20 p.m. from each location. Shuttles will return riders to their high school locations once the meeting concludes.