Tyler ISD adding campus security; Newtown shooting, Mayan calend - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tyler ISD adding campus security; Newtown shooting, Mayan calendar cited as factors

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Tyler ISD officials tell KLTV 7 that the district will be putting additional security officers on all campuses on Friday, December 21st.

"This was just in lieu of the events that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week and then there's been some recent information in the news about the Mayan Calendar, so we just felt that was in the best interests of our campuses to have extra protection there," said Dawn Parnell, spokesperson for the Tyler Independent School District.

There has been a great deal of speculation about December 21st, because that day is the alleged end of the Earth in the Mayan calendar.

TISD officials says were no threats or reports of threats that contributed to Tyler ISD's decision.

"Our students and staff can be very assured that there's been no specific threats," said Parnell. "We just felt it was an extra precaution. We just want everyone to feel safe and we want to have an environment of learning tomorrow, so we felt that this would help release any anxiety that there might be at the campus level."

More than 20 off-duty deputies from the Smith County Sheriff's Office will be working on TISD campuses. The goal is to have at least one off-duty officer at each Tyler ISD campus, in addition to those that are already present. TISD will pay the off-duty officers.

Tyler PD will patrol the campuses as part of normal patrol routine, but there will be no off-duty Tyler PD officers present on the TISD campuses Friday.

Officer Don Martin, public information officer for Tyler PD, tells KLTV 7, "We met with TISD on Monday about security and our willingness to help when needed.  We have not been contacted to help with anything tomorrow.  We have been willing to ask on duty officers to do extra patrols around the schools as a way to ease concerns from the Connecticut situation."

The decision to add additional campus security was made by the district during the day Thursday. School board members were informed before Thursday's regularly-scheduled board meeting.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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