ECISD, MISD talk security after campuses threatened several times

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Odessa In the past few weeks, both MISD and ECISD campuses have gone into lockout several times after threats were reported near schools.

One ECISD parent started a petition asking the district to install metal detectors at the entrances of all campuses, raising questions on what schools need to stay safe.

Last week, an Odessa High School student was arrested after she told a friend she was going to shoot up the school.

The week before, a different Odessa High student was caught with a gun in his backpack.

At Midland Freshman, yet another student was charged for threatening to shoot a classmate.

Midland ISD School Board Member Tommy Bishop said he’s open to the idea of metal detectors but believes extra security is already a prime focus of the November school bond.

One of those features includes a buzzer at campus entrances where all visitors will be met with a locked door until an employee on the inside verifies who they are through a security camera.

“We’ll have the ability to see who that person is and to see if they’re carrying anything,” Bishop explained. “Not always, but possibly we could see if someone’s coming to do some kind of mass shooting or have some type of direct threat to our school district.”

Meanwhile, ECISD is working on installing the same types of buzzers at their schools too.

Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri said the district is always looking for ways to improve but he’s confident the staff is well prepared to handle any emergency.

“So, a variety of different procedures that our teachers are equipped, our leaders are equipped, and our kids are equipped,” Muri said. “When they hear those commands, they know where to go and what to do on the school grounds.”

As for the metal detectors, he said the district’s safety commission has the most expertise on whether that would be effective. So, he can’t give it a thumbs up or down for now.

However, he said a school’s best defense is sounding the alarms in the first place.

“Our kids are talking to us and they’re giving us information allowing us to act and be proactive to help us prevent anything from happening,” Muri said.

MISD Superintendent Orlando Riddick declined to go on camera to talk about security while the other MISD school board members didn’t return requests for interviews in time.

All the ECISD school board members said they didn’t want to comment until they had a chance to meet and come to a conclusion together.