Keller ISD is planning to be proactive rather than reactive against forced entrance threats.
The school board unanimously approved $1.2 million from the School Safety Standards Formula Grant to apply security film on all exterior doors and the surrounding windows at all Keller ISD schools and the Education Center, where administration is housed.
The film installation is one of the district’s top priorities following a security assessment conducted by Keller ISD that was submitted to the Texas Education Agency.
The security film provides a layer of protection to building doors and windows for a prolonged period of time during a forced entry attempt. It also protects students and staff inside the building from flying debris from severe weather events.
Most schools at Keller ISD have tempered glass in windows and door openings, which provides weak protection against forced entrance, said Mark Mahan, head of emergency management.
The new security film will be applied on the window surface facing inside the building and opposite to the intruder, which helps hold glass fragments together and provides extra time for law enforcement, Mahan said.
“This is a system that is designed to slow the intruder down,” he said.
What will Keller ISD be using?
The district chose the 3M Scotchshield Safety & Security Window Film Ultra S800 for protection:
- 8-mil (0.008 inch) thick film
- Micro-layered film designed for tear resistance
- Optically clear
- Interior film, opposite intruders
- Rated as safety glazing when applied to annealed glass
- UV blocking performance
In October 2022, state lawmakers announced $400 million in funding to assist school districts in replacing or upgrading doors, windows, fencing, communications and other safety features.
Board Secretary Joni Shaw Smith said she recently visited Timberview Middle School, which features a lot of glass. Most of her children’s campuses are also covered in windows.
“I’m very pleased that this is something we’re able to do with this grant,” Smith said.
At the meeting, board President Charles Randklev, along with other board members, questioned the dependability of the film. Trustee John Birt asked whether he could see a demonstration.
The glass is not bullet-resistant, but the bullets will travel through a small projectile, Roger Mullins, business manager at Accent Distributing and a 3M vendor, told the trustees. But the glass has a strong tear-resistance once a hole is formed to prevent perpetrators from getting through.
Perpetrators usually take between six and eight minutes at the door, Mullins said.
The state’s school safety standards require districts to reinforce exterior entry windows on campuses to make them resistant to forced entry by an intruder.
The selected vendor, McKinney-based Epic Solar Control, will apply the film by removing the window from the gasket and applying the sealant to the frame to give a more secure fit to the film, Mahan said.
Keller ISD’s Safety and Security Department solicited bids from two vendors: Epic Solar Control and National Glazing Solutions. The attachment system puts Epic Solar Control above its competition, Mahan said.
“The attachment system keeps the window from coming out in one big piece,” Mullins said.
The school district plans to start the project in February 2024 and expects to finish around the end of the school year.
Dang Le is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.