Hours before Bossier school leaders met Thursday afternoon to discuss their school security plan, Superintendent D.C. Machen sent out an open letter to parents addressing the issue:
Many questions are being raised across the nation about school security following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, and understandably so.
Let me assure you that Bossier Schools shares those same concerns and we are closely examining our own safety measures in place. Your child's safety is paramount to our daily mission and we are committed to providing a secure environment for all students and employees.
Danny Dison, Bossier Schools' Director of Security, is in daily contact with the Bossier Sheriff's Department and Bossier City Police, working closely with both agencies in a number of ways to provide safe school campuses. All of our schools have a comprehensive emergency plan in place and all of our school leaders are trained in emergency response and management. Routine drills, including crisis lockdown drills, are conducted throughout the school year to practice safety procedures and familiarize students and staff with the steps to take to best ensure safety. Teachers are asked, as well, to keep their classroom doors locked at all times.
In addition, every classroom has emergency flip charts with detailed instructions on protocol; each school has camera surveillance; every principal has a First Responder radio tied directly to law enforcement; all middle and high schools have full-time School Resource Officers on campus; and local law enforcement is linked to Bossier Schools via a detailed Web-based mapping system. We have also retrofitted the entries at several elementary schools in the last three years and continue to update others with safe entrance barriers.
Despite these measures, we pledge to remain vigilant each day assessing and investigating ways to better protect every child and employee in our care. At Bossier Schools, a safe learning environment is our utmost priority.