District updates safety with exterior door audits and C.R.A.S.E training for employees


Angelina Liu

Coppell citizen Michael Crenshaw shares his concerns for school safety at Monday’s Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting at the Vonita White Administration Building. CISD currently utilizes several safety measures but will roll out C.R.A.S.E training to employees for better safety.

Sri Achanta, Executive News Editor

A theme that emerged during Monday’s Coppell ISD Board of Trustees meeting was the desire for better security, posed in the open forum and later addressed in the safety and security update.

As a district parent and in light of the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Michael Crenshaw urged the board during the open forum to hire security officers to place at every district elementary school. 

“Specifically, I know there’s been efforts done at the high school levels to have security officers and in the middle schools, but the elementary schools are vulnerable,” Crenshaw said. “I have a child enrolled at Denton Creek Elementary, and while we do see the officer there, they have to switch between other schools, and I feel there is a gap in security there.” 

CISD currently utilizes the Coppell Police Department to supply school resource officers, SROs, on campuses located in Coppell city limits. The Dallas County Sheriff’s office is utilized to employ SROS at Coppell Middle School West, Lee Elementary, Valley Ranch Elementary and Canyon Ranch Elementary.

As a former Coppell police officer and CISD SRO, and as the current CISD coordinator of safety and security, Rachael Freeman led the majority of the discussion regarding safety at CISD during the board meeting. During her presentation, she responded to Crenshaw’s question regarding SROs at each campus.

“I know you were concerned about not having campus officers at our elementary campuses, but they are strategically located and strategically placed,” Freeman said. “[Denton Creek Elementary’s] officer houses off at [CMS North], so the farthest he’s going to go is North, Victory Place and Denton Creek. Those were my campuses when I was there, and it was amazing because I could run across the street in minutes – it was that quick. That’s the benefit of having those strategically placed locations and officers.”

CISD continues to work on increasing security throughout the district. In addition to the use of video doorbells at each main entrance, exterior doors of all buildings are required to remain closed and secure. 

Texas Education Agency now requires school districts to complete exterior door audits and intruder assessments, a practice CISD has been performing.

Proximity cards will continue to be used by school staff with card readers near common entrances, and substitutes will now also be provided with their own cards. Visitors are required to sign in at the front office using a photo ID and will be checked against the sex offender database. Visitor’s guest badges must be worn and visible at all times, or will be reported for violation, even if the visitor is well known.

Furthermore, CISD is rolling out Civilian Responses to Active Shooter Events (C.R.A.S.E) training to CISD employees again this year, where staff will re-learn how to respond to an active shooter. This training is based on a partnership with the Coppell Police Department. The workshops are available for parents as well.

CISD will also continue to use STOPit, an app and web-based system that allows students, parents and staff to anonymously report violence, cyber-bullying, misconduct or self-harm in the district. In the past year, Coppell has received 204 anonymous tips from STOPit’s tip line.

This is our very first year of using it, so I’m very proud of how it rolled out,” Freeman said. “Our campuses embraced it, they talked about it, and it got used, so great job to our campuses.”