The hallways are now safer for students and staff at China Spring ISD.
Over the summer, the district upgraded security at each of its campuses.
It's Darius Young's first year teaching with China Spring ISD. He's excited to welcome in his new students to a school that's added more safety features.
"You don't want to wait for something to happen, you want to jump out in front of it, especially with the way things are going now," Young said.
Within the last few months, school districts throughout Texas watched as active shooters stormed campuses across the nation.
"As a teacher, it breaks my heart that people want to hurt our students," Young said.
These tragedies led China Spring Superintendent Dr. Marc Faulkner to think of new ways to protect his students and teachers.
"It warms my heart to know that parents can walk in and see what you're about to see and go, you know what, they really do have the best interest of the safety of my child. I feel very, very safe sending my kid to school," Faulkner said.
Teachers at each campus have gone through training with police. Alarms have been installed on certain exterior doors and deadbolts can now lock classrooms in a matter of seconds.
A teacher or student can deploy the barricade by pulling the door closed and stepping on top of the pin that locks the door shut to stop intruders from getting inside.
The device was created by a parent. The locks only cost about $20 each and the district purchased more than 300 of them.
"It's all about saving lives, it's not about being elite here or different than any other school district," Faulkner said. "It's just about making sure that our parents, our kids and our teachers know that safety is the number one priority."
Faulkner said they will also add another school resource officer in the next few weeks, bringing their total number of on-campus officers to three. They've also launched a "See Something, Say Something" program and a suicide prevention program.
"We've got to change the culture around doing something like that is 'snitching' as opposed to you're possibly saving lives," Faulkner said. "We want to change the culture from being a bystander to an upstander."
As summer break comes to a close, teachers can now rest a bit easier knowing there's one less thing to worry about as they prepare for their first day back.
"It really protects the students and the teachers and it gives us that peace of mind knowing that when we come to work, we're safe," Young said. "School safety is a top priority."
China Spring ISD will welcome students back to school on Aug. 20.
Faulkner said he welcomes others to come forward and check out their campuses to get ideas on how they can better protect their own.
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