Keeping Klein Safe

District unveils new safety plan


This month, superintendent Bret Champion launched the Klein ISD #KeepKleinSafe campaign to assure a safe learning and work environment for students and staff across the district.

According to the message from Champion and Police Chief David Kimberly about school safety,

Klein ISD employed a number of safety measures to have officers on campuses throughout the day, Intruderology training for students and staff members, cameras on campuses, and checking visitors prior to accessing campuses.

“We have high standards when it comes to school safety, and our emergency operations plan, was created with guidance from the Texas School Safety Center,” Champion said. “We will soon begin the implementation of access control mechanisms on the front doors of all elementary schools. The new process will require visitors to ring a doorbell and identify themselves to the front office prior to being given access to the school. A video camera will display their image on a monitor in the front office to assist office personnel before granting access to the campus. It is anticipated that the construction will begin in March and be completed by the end of the school year.”

The faculty has begun to speak more openly about the drills and practices, so students can have a better understanding needed in order to prepare themselves in the event of a tragic incident.

“In the past, this has been a topic that was kept more private within the staff and not discussed with the students.  By making more people aware of that we have in place and that we are thinking about student safety just promotes a more safe environment in general,” Assistant Principal Gary Brain said. “It allows for students to see that we have a plan and to feel safe here on campus and encourages students to speak up when they hear about something on campus.”

In Bearkat Den, students discussed the Run, Hide, Fight procedures if faced with the unfortunate event of an active shooter on campus. Days later, students practiced the hide drill of the procedure by going to a secure area in their classrooms.

“I was in the shop classes and my teacher put all the girls in a storage closet, locked the door and turned the lights off,” junior Lauren Holley said. “He told us to get something to put underneath the door so the light from our phone screens wouldn’t shine through and the ‘shooter’ wouldn’t see our phones.”

During the hide drill, students were instructed to secure the area, barricade the doors, turn off the lights and cell phones, and be prepared to run or fight.

“Everybody started looking for weapons and looking for things to barricade the door with,” Holley said. “Some people were scared, some people were asking why we had to do this, and there was some debate going on about the importance of the drill.”

After practicing the hiding aspect of the run, hide, fight procedure students were able to understand the severity of this type of situation.

“Hiding is an awful middle ground, you want to leave or do something so bad and your heart would be thumping in your ears and it would be hard to breath, but all you would be able to do would be sit there and wait and comfort your frightened classmates,” Holley said.

Students questioned the safety of the school and what to do in the event of an emergency after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida last month.

“I can’t even begin to form an idea of how those affected by all these shootings felt during the act and afterward. It is completely mortifying to me that people in this country and halfway across the globe are being destroyed by horrible weapons, violence, and guns,” Holley said. “If my life was ever personally warped into the reality they are experiencing, I think all I could possibly do would be to drop down and pray.”

All over the country, teachers have discussed an organized plan of what to do in the case of a crisis with their students.

“It shakes people up for a few days and then after a bit people just kinda forget about it,” Holley said. “It bothers me that we’ve been sort of desensitized to school shootings and that it’s not routine in other countries, we have to practice hiding for our lives in the case of a murder, as if it were a natural disaster.”

Although school shootings are a sad reality in today’s world, many are taking a stand and demanding change for the safety of citizens.

“The statistics are there, the reasoning is clear, things need to change and everyone knows it,” Holley said. “Business are changing their practices, kids are rising up like the brave children from Douglas Stoneman, law enforcement, teachers and certain uncorrupted politicians are using their pedestal, I think we’re headed in a good direction because of all of the voices being heard.”

Students have even promoted the March for Our Lives rally taking place on the 24th of this month to plea for a strengthening of gun laws.

“Raising awareness is a very important part for all of this because the intent is to give people who may think they’re powerless a chance to take a stand and contribute even if it’s in a small way, which is what I intend to do at the March for Our Lives rally downtown,” Holley said.