Phoenix Union stepping up safety measures on school campuses

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The Phoenix Union High School District has been back in session for about a week, and it's added several new safety measures to keep staff and students safe after getting rid of school resource officers a couple of years ago.

In the aftermath of several school shootings in recent years, school safety is in the back of almost every loved one's mind as they send their children back to school.

"Safety is always on your mind just because of what’s going on in the world," said Marcy Begay, the parent of a student at Central High School. "You send your child to school and wish that doesn’t happen, but it's just really unpredictable these days."

Rosemarie Lewis whose daughter attends the same school says she and other parents feel good about the measures being taken to keep students safe.

"We feel pretty safe about it. Our school over here at Central High, they sent out information about things that are happening and different security that will be on campus, the expectations of the students, what staff will be doing. We feel pretty good about it," Lewis said.

The district has implemented several new safety changes this year.

RELATED: Phoenix Union High School District will not re-sign agreement with Phoenix for School Resource Officers

Claudio Coria is the district's executive director for safety, and says, "It’s really in response to the growing concern to school shootings and what happened in Uvalde, and for us to be as proactive as possible. So yes, doing the drills, the lockdown drills, the evacuation drills, but also creating and helping the right culture and climate of safety so that our students feel safe, and our families feel safe and connected. We are invested in that."

The district has created a new safety division with dedicated staff across all campuses.

It also upped its training for emergency response and de-escalation strategies. They've added more social workers and training for mental health, plus they're also investing in infrastructure like ensuring every door locks internally, security cameras are up-to-date, and adding fencing around campuses.

"Clearly safety is especially at the top of everyone’s minds. Our students our staff, our families. So we’ve also had to step it up to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to increase and support the safety of everyone," Coria explained.

The district says if anyone has a concern, they can report it in person, by phone or by email, which they have staff monitoring at all times.

The email is