In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Dallas ISD police Chief Craig Miller wasted no time in dismissing the thought of arming teachers. In fact his recommendations for making DISD students safer, which he will present to the Board of Trustees at a briefing on Thursday, involve no firearms, just bread-and-butter security upgrades.
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The bulk of the proposed $4.5 million in upgrades, to be paid for with 2008 bond funds, will go toward installing surveillance cameras at 23 middle and high schools. (This, Thursday's briefing notes, has a side benefit: "Besides increasing the level of safety for our students and staff, the cameras have proven to be an invaluable tool in preventing monetary loss to the campuses (where installed) as a result of theft, burglary, and vandalism.")
Most of the rest would go toward installing door buzzers, equipped with color cameras and intercoms, on the front door of every elementary school, with electronic card readers at the other entrances.
On the other end of the technology spectrum: peepholes. Miller wants to install one on the door of each of the district's portable classrooms, used when its supplement brick-and-mortar school buildings fill up. They're relatively cheap to install, just $100 a pop, but the cost adds up when you consider DISD has 1,200 portables.
"Even though very little physical security could have prevented the Newtown shooting these recommendations will make our elementary campuses immediately safer," Miller writes. And, for whatever it's worth, all without the mention of guns.