CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Wednesday was the first time parents roamed the halls of West Oso ISD schools as part of the district’s “Parents On Patrol” program.
“We as a district wanted to enhance our safety protocols,” said Dana Moore, the West Oso Junior High Principal. “Once Uvalde hit, we went more in-depth on what we needed to do but we're talking about it prior. So, we came together and started Parents on Patrol.”
More than 50 parents showed up to the informational meeting for Parents On Patrol.
The district conducted background checks on all applicants, had a training period for the first group of parents Tuesday, and they started patrols on Wednesday; just two days after the start of the school year for the district.
“Having our parents as part of Parents On Patrol is important because it’s showing that we’re all on the same team and we’re working together,” said Samantha Garibay, the Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator at WOISD. “When our parents know they’re involved in making these kinds of decisions and looking out for our students, they know we’re all working as one team.”
One of the parents who patrolled the halls on day one is Maria Deochoa.
“Everything that’s going on at the schools, I just want to be involved in the schools and be around him and the other kids,” Deochoa said about her decision to volunteer.
Deochoa, and the other parents, will be an extra set of eyes and ears on the campuses.
“They’ll go around and make sure the doors are secure and locked, that there’s not suspicious people in the parking lot; all the stuff we’re doing, but just having more people doing it at the same time,” Moore said.
Deochoa said it makes her feel more comfortable knowing there will be more people patrolling the halls at the schools.
“I know my son is going to be safe, and other kids are going to be safe. At least I can do a little bit of my part,” she said.
Garibay said the district hopes to have three parents on patrol at any time on each campus.
As the school year continues, the district will continue to offer parents the opportunity to join the program.
“As they see what a great impact this makes on, not only our students but our community, they can participate as well,” she said.
The district is excited to welcome parents to campuses to help out, and parents are happy to get the opportunity.
“Talking to our parents, they’re excited to be on campus,” Garibay added. “Especially after our COVID closures, they’re excited to be a part of their student’s education in a way where they can see them here. It’s been a great launch, and a great start to the school year here.”