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Carthage ISD hires new Safety and Security Director

CARTHAGE, Texas (KETK) – Carthage Independent School District has added a Safety and Security Director position. On Wednesday, KETK met with the new director to learn what he’s doing to enhance security.

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“Security requirements for schools have increased dramatically over the last couple of years,” Jarrod Bitter, Carthage ISD superintendent, said.

The district brought on a Safety and Security Director, Darren Peeples, who reportedly has years of law enforcement experience.

“So, for 14 years I was a state game warden stationed out of Harrison County in Marshall,” Peeples said.

He previously worked in Region 7 as a school safety specialist. Now, he brings the knowledge of the latest state requirements.

“With HB3 and with the commission of education school safety standards rules they implemented a lot of things for facilities, so door locking, force-resistant window film, fencing in certain places,” said Peeples.

Carthage ISD Superintendent shared that their new team member will be an immense help.

“Having somebody in our district that is 100% focused on the safety and security of our students and staff everyday is something that is very important to us as a group,” Bitter said.

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Peeples is planning to grow relationships with local first responders, and make sure all campus protocols are updated.

“Everything is up to par, and we’re always going to look for areas of improvement as well,” Peeples said.

Now, there are many safety requirements that schools have to be aware of.

“Out of the last legislative session, there were a lot of requirements that’s on the admin side of school safety that [the Texas Education Agency] in the state legislator has given to the school. It’s a lot of added responsibilities so my main job will be to handle all of that,” Peeples said.

With the new role, Carthage ISD is looking into technology and other ways to heighten safety further.

“We’re also implementing silent panic alert technology with Raptor so all staff can trigger an alert if they see something suspicious,” Peeples said.

Carthage ISD said that security is paramount to them.

“Safety and security of our kids and staff is our top priority and we’re going to everything we can every day to make sure that happens,” Bitter said.

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