Local Private School Heightens Up Security

By Sylvia Gonzalez
Newswest 9

ODESSA - Gun control and safety in schools took center stage in Washington today, but some West Texas school aren't waiting for them to act like several other districts in the Basin St.Mary's Central Catholic School in Odessa has increased security and plans to do even more in the future.

According to Bethany McKee-Alexander Principal at the private schools says the shooting in Connecticut left them wondering if they could possibly protect their students more, as it turns out they decided to heighten security measures. At St. Mary's someone is always watching you at all times, but before you are allowed in the schools you have to be buzzed in.

"We thought if we could put in a magnetic security system where they would have to be buzzed in that way we know who enters our building at all times," Alexander said.

Currently all classrooms remain locked during school hours, but that is not the only security measure they have added.

"We also added an intercom system as well right there so we can actually say who are you here to see, why are you here so we are able to communicate with them," Alexander said.

Alexander tells us they have already ordered shades to install on the windows so no one can see from the outside to the inside, but they plan to implement more security measures in the near future.

"We want  to add an additional camera so that if its not a parent or if they are saying I am so and so aunts, I am here to pick him ID so the camera will be located so they will be able to show the IDand we will be able to identify that they are who they say they are," Alexander said.

Simona Rivas a parent of a student attending the private school its extremely important that the school has taken a step to ensure the safety of the students.

"I feel a lot better that our school has implemented a great security system it makes me feel a little bit more comfortable to know that not just anyone can walk into our schools, but also that they have actually taken the extra measures to make sure that our little ones are protected,Rivas said.

Her son Adriel Rivas too feels safer in his classroom.

"I just feel safer that no one can just walk through our classroom door while we are learning come in and happen what happened in Connecticut," Rivas said.