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'Communication is critical,' Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde talks safety efforts

Dallas ISD Superintendent lays out safety plans for 2022-2023 school year
Dallas ISD Superintendent lays out safety plans for 2022-2023 school year 07:03

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde acknowledged how much things have changed in regard to school safety, especially in the last few years. 

"For educators, for parents, this is really a difficult time. Schools should be a place of joy. We should be talking about content and projects and recess. But we also know the realities of today, and it requires us to also talk about drills and practices, about things that we certainly were not talking about when I was in school,"said Elizalde during an Aug. 2 press conference

The new leader of the school district talked about how she intends to protect students. In addition to at least two school shooting drills at each campus a year, Elizalde talked about the need for parents to monitor their childrens' social media.

"I'm going to ask everyone, we all have to work together to make sure our schools continue to remain safe so we're not having a press conference about a tragedy that's occurred in our schools. It will take all of us," she told reporters.

Elizalde stressed the importance of communication, not only before an incident, but during one. 

"If all the entities aren't talking to each other, we lose precious time," she said, alluding to the May 24 Uvalde massacre, which left 19 fourth graders and two teachers dead. 

She added, "If something is happening, within a half mile radius of our schools we will put our campuses on secure hold -- no one entering or leaving."

"Just last week we conducted an active shooter exercise with Dallas Fire Rescue, DISD police and the Dallas police department," said Dallas ISD Police Chief John Lawton during the Tuesday morning press conference. 

Elizalde also thanked voters for approving a bond that fueled millions in safety and security upgrades such as: video doorbells, access key cards and secure vestibules. 

"I'm grateful that we're in Dallas ISD. I'm grateful we're in Dallas and I'm grateful we have our own police department," she said. "I'm grateful for our community. We need everyone's assistance - and, we're going to make sure that from day one we are responsive so that we can be proactive, and so that we're not being reactive."

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