North Texas

Ennis ISD Starts Random Searches, Will Soon Require Clear Backpacks and Student IDs

Another North Texas school district is taking new security measures in the wake of the Florida high school massacre.

“Unfortunately in today’s society, in order to keep somebody safe, we have to take these extra measures,” said Ennis Police Chief John Erisman, who has two sons in the Ennis ISD.

The Ennis Independent School District has started randomly picking students at Ennis Junior High School and Ennis High School to search their backpacks.

Ennis ISD police officers are also keeping vehicles back from the school buildings themselves, making sure drivers park only in designated lots and not along any curbs.

“Anytime that you can limit the access to potential victims from anybody that has ill will, the better you are at keeping those individuals safe,” said Chief Erisman.

More security measures will take effect this fall, including a controversial requirement that all students, Pre-K through 12, bring only clear backpacks to school.

“I think that’s wonderful,” said Mary Lee Dodson, whose granddaughter is in the 7th grade, “they should have done that, have a clear bag when they walk in and they can see what they’ve got.”

But some parents say requiring clear backpacks is going too far.

“I mean I agree with a lot of the policies, with the exception of the clear bags,” said Michelle Faulkner, who has a son in the 7th grade.

“They’re not as sturdy, other places have tried them you have to replace them way more often, especially kids that carry a lot of books,” said Faulker.

“The other problem I had with it, is kids have personal items,” said Faulker, “females have feminine products, boys have athletic gear.”

The Ennis police chief supports the ISD’s clear backpack rule.

“I can understand the inconvenience but again, if it's keeping our kids safe it’s an extra step that we can take in order to keep our students safe I’m all for it,” said Erisman.

The school district also plans to hire more police officers, and add security gates to street entrances.

Also starting this fall, all classroom doors will remain locked, although students inside will be able to leave.

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Ennis ISD Security (Text)
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