“Safety is the district’s top priority:” Richland schools enhance security measures after Texas massacre

Richland High School

RICHLAND, Wash. — While the nation watches in horror as another tragic school shooting unfolds in south Texas, school leaders in Richland are taking immediate action to increase security measures and prevent anything of the sort from taking place in their hometown.

In a message issued to the Richland school community, Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger confirmed that she and her staff are taking immediate action to bolster security at all schools under her jurisdiction for at least the remainder of the year.

First and foremost, the front entrances to all elementary and middle schools will be locked during the school day, requiring visitors to call ahead to enter their facilities. Meanwhile, high schools have closed exterior entrances and increased monitoring during passing periods.

All the while, Richland schools have enhanced their relationship with local law enforcement to bring more police officers to their facilities. They will work alongside security personnel to ensure that these hubs of essential education have the protection they need in case of an emergency.

Dr. Redinger also listed the following measures that are already in place at schools in her district:

  • Secure entrance vestibules have been added to schools in recent years as they are rebuilt and refurbished.
  • Exterior cameras are installed at elementary schools and exterior and interior cameras at our middle and high schools.
  • Alarm systems and badge access in place for non-primary entrances at schools.
  • School resource officers (SROs) and district security staff are on the campuses of Hanford and Richland High schools.
  • District and school staff have regular drills and other training to be prepared for threats.
  • Students, staff and anyone in our community are encouraged to access the district’s Vector Alert system to submit tips regarding issues such as cyberbullying, harassment, threats, weapons, drugs, mental illness, domestic abuse, family/home issues and suspicious activities in our schools. Tips may be sent online, through email, text or phone call. Those submitting a tip may remain anonymous.

The school also extended access to school counselors and the RSD’s Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT) for students and families struggling to cope with the fear instilled by the Uvalde tragedy.

RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

READ: Prosser parents, students concerned after athletic director position cut