CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As she tried to keep up with her two and a half year old son Jude on the playground at Cole Park in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, Tiffany McNeal talked about school safety concerns that she has.
"It’s scary," she said. "He’s not in school yet, so it’s a little bit easier to trust the daycare, because they have like double-locked doors and stuff. I’m anxious about that when he’s going to start school."
Protecting students from school shooters is on the minds of school leaders across the country.
On Monday, the Corpus Christi Independent School District took — what on the surface appears to be a small step — towards improving safety.
It's now district policy, rather than a district procedure, that all classroom doors remain locked during the instructional day.
CCISD Police Chief Kirby Warnke said the change will make a difference.
“It’s always been our procedure," he said. "It’s part of our culture. But now what we’ve done is codified it in policy. And so it’s now mandated, and if you don’t do it, then there’s some serious ramifications.”
Warnke says violating the policy could lead to "disciplinary issues," because unlocked classroom doors have played a role in past school shootings in other communities.
“We’ve seen the video evidence," he said. "Tragedy could have been averted if doors were locked.”
Even though going to school is still a few years away for Jude, McNeal was happy to hear about locked classroom doors becoming an official policy for CCISD.
"I’d rather have more security than less," she said. "But yeah, I think that’s a great step in the right direction."