Longview Independent School District is about to ramp up school safety in a way that hasn't been done yet in public schools.
The school district plans to launch a new program for the Fall 2013 school year that compiles problems students have both inside and outside of the classroom into one database.
The district says this program will help raise red flags that can prevent violence on campus.
"It could be someone that has dealt with an incident at that ball game or that movie theatre in town," said Longview ISD Assistant Superintendent Jody Clements. "It could be something on Facebook that a community member sees and informs us that we need to be aware about."
Longview will be the first K-12 school district in the country to implement the new program.
"If you have a student that has had issues at school or has had issues out in the community, we want to be aware of that so we can address those issues with the student and provide the proper counseling, training, and what they need to be successful," Clements said. "We don't want it to become something that's going to be disruptive or destructive to our campus in the future."
The program is already in use at colleges across the country. The school district says that this type of system will be more effective in preventing crime than measures in the past.
"We feel after Columbine that the trend was to build our schools with protection, put police officers in, put cameras in, and put metal detectors in," Clements said. "Yet the occurrences are still there. Sandy Hook happened and a lot of those things were in place. We felt like we needed to take a different approach."
The school district will be meeting with up to 30 schools districts from across Texas on Wednesday to discuss the new program. They also plan to form a national student safety alliance that would continually discuss new ideas in preventing school violence.
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