Orangefield ISD trustees still mulling security options
The Orangefield Junior High School building was vandalized on June 20, 2014. The Orangefield ISD board of trustees met Monday night to discuss options to make the campus more secure.
The Orangefield Independent School District Board of Trustees are taking steps to make their campus more secure. The trustees met Monday night at a special meeting to discuss various issues including security measures, particularly in response to an act of vandalism last month.
Dr. Stephen Patterson, school superintendent, reported he has received one bid from Ion Security Systems of Bridge City. He still hasn’t received bids from two other security companies. Patterson told the board, however, the bids were too high, or “outside the scope” of what was previously discussed. He couldn’t see placing the item on the next meeting agenda and they are exploring other options.
The district is looking to install locking front doors with cameras and cameras on all exit doors, evenly spaced out for maximum coverage. The cost would be $25,000 to complete the junior high building and it would cost more than $120,000 for the high school’s gymnasium, 100 building, 200 building and 300 building.
Shaun McAlpin, assistant superintendent of finance, said the cameras would not be basic CCTV cameras, but motion activated cameras with their own servers and bandwidths. The need for cameras was made necessary when at 7:35 a.m. on Friday, June 20, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies were told by an official with the Orangefield ISD that the Orangefield Junior High School building had been vandalized.
Once deputies arrived, the custodial staff at the school reported they found different areas within the school had been ransacked and damaged. Deputies located open paint cans with the contents dumped on the floors and spread on some lockers in the main hall during the investigation. Several of the classrooms had paint, glue, and hand sanitizer spread on chairs and on the floors.
A trophy was found broken in a locker room and food products were spread in areas throughout the school. Garbage cans were turned over and trash was spread across the floors. There were a few white boards that had explicit and derogatory language written on them, some containing vulgar drawings.
A school official gave an initial rough estimate of the damages to the school building of anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000. Deputies were able to gather evidence from the scene. After following up on some of the information, deputies were able to track down four white male juveniles who confessed to the crime. Two of the juveniles, a 15-year-old and 13-year-old, were enrolled as students in the Orangefield School District and reside near the school. The other two juveniles, a 14-year-old and 13-year-old, reside in Beaumont but were staying with a relative in the Orangefield area at the time. The Orangefield School District is pursued charges while the investigation was ongoing.