Local Catholic Schools Upgrade Security

Door access control keypad and video door phone at a door | Image by Titikul_B/Shutterstock

North Texas private schools are reassessing their security measures following the shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday that left three employees and three students dead.

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas is most notably working to make its schools more secure and protect the lives of its students.

“When I heard there was another school shooting, my heart sank,” said Dr. Veronica Alonzo, the associate superintendent of the diocese, per CBS News.

“It sank for educators, the teachers, school leaders, the parents, everyone involved in this situation everyone who has a child who is school age, because you’re wondering, could this happen at my school?” she continued.

Alonzo is the mother to one of the nearly 15,000 students in the care of the Diocese of Dallas, which operates 36 different schools.

“The diocese and our school leaders are always reevaluating and considering what upgrades we need to make to security on our campuses,” she said.

Alonzo said that securing the diocese’s schools involves some unique challenges.

For example, each school is attached to a church that is open to the public.

“Throughout the day … we have mass services or funeral services somewhere on the campus,” said Alonzo, per CBS News. “That’s why it’s important that the safety and security protocols for both buildings are followed.”

Furthermore, each physical campus is designed differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all security solution.

Campus security could be strengthened with a digital alert system that would swiftly notify staff of an emergency simply by someone pressing an alert button. The diocese is working with a software company to develop such a system.

Another challenge faced by the diocese as a Christian school system is creating a robust security system while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere.

The diocese currently has multiple security officers on staff, and all exterior doors are kept locked.

As The Dallas Express previously reported, the shooting in Nashville revived calls from some corners for widespread armed security in schools.

The Dallas Express reached out to the Diocese of Dallas to discuss this matter further but was not able to arrange an interview before press time.

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