Following the deadly mass shooting in Texas that shook the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday that it will be expanding on-campus safety measures.
L.A. Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said the district will be changing communications protocols and investing in new technology to enhance safety at schools.
“Since Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, and now in Uvalde, Texas, we have witnessed that ready access to guns for anyone, including students, without any filter, means that any place in America can become a dangerous place, whether it’s a movie theater, a grocery store, a temple, a church or a school,” Carvalho said in a statement.
During Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the 18-year-old gunman entered the building ”unobstructed,” barricaded himself in a fourth-grade classroom and opened fire, killing 19 children and two teachers.
The shooting has raised questions throughout the country about campus security and what schools can do to prevent yet another massacre.
Carvalho said L.A. Unified already has implemented numerous safety measures, but it must continue to update its protocols to keep students safe.
LAUSD’s new safety protocols will include conducting access assessments to ensure reduced points of entry at campuses.
The assessment will also include exploring safe corners in schools so that students, employees, families and first responders will know where the most protected area is in case of an incident.
The district is also exploring the use of mobile apps with GPS to enable first responders effective access to critical incidents.
LAUSD also wants to share maps of schools with local first responders so they can be swift in their response.
“In the event of a critical incident, Los Angeles Unified’s Chief of Police Leslie Ramirez will engage with other municipal entities to ensure a rapid exchange of information that will shorten the time of response,” LAUSD officials said in a news release.
Additionally, the district wants to provide enhanced mental health support. Officials said the focus will be on prevention and early identification.
Following the deadly shooting in Texas, several law enforcement agencies in Southern California stepped up patrols around local schools this week.
Beaumont police also investigated multiple unfounded threats to schools within the span of two days, saying that the Texas shooting may have fueled rumors.
“When events like Uvalde, Texas, occur on a national level, understandably, we see an increase in concerns at our local school sites,” Beaumont police said. “Oftentimes these events spur rumors and reports of planned shootings on school campuses, especially via social media. This further adds to the anxiety our community is feeling.”