FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 300 people clicked into a Facebook Live chat on school security Thursday night held by Northwest ISD, which says the social media platform has helped reach wider audiences than ever before.
“Good evening, NISD!” Superintendent Ryder Warren greeted those watching.
In a short speech, he outlined the district’s plans to spend more than $14 million on security upgrades.
“All 28 campuses in the ISD are safe, but I also want to get across to them, we can get better,” Superintendent Warren told CBS11.
The district will replace all its security cameras and add even more. It will also enable principals to lock all exterior doors with the touch of a button. And, it’s looking into the possibility of creating its own police department.
Funding for added security was approved in a bond election last May, Superintendent Warren explained.
But the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida in February has drawn more interest in the project from parents.
On social media, the conversation runs two ways.
Viewers showed their approval of certain ideas with a thumbs up sign or posted comments and questions for the superintendent.
Parents chimed in with suggestions of metal detectors, additional security guards, and armed teachers.
Dr Warren promised to look into some ideas and explained his opposition to others.
“I have never been a proponent of arming teachers because that’s not what they’re trained to do,” he said.
With Facebook, the district often reaches two to three hundred people live. It then posts videos of chats, which thousands more watch later.
“Everybody’s busy. Everybody’s on the run. So bringing us to them is a lot better for our parents than them coming to us,” said Dr. Warren.
The superintendent still prefers talking to people in person, but he says his largest audiences, by far, are always online.
“It’s working so we’re going to keep with it,” he said.