Unannounced school intruder audits began this week across Texas. It's the latest step in boosting school security in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.
The Texas School Safety Center says its team will conduct an intruder audit on at least 75% of all Texas schools by the end of the school year.
Security doors has long been a focus of school safety, but after what happened in Uvalde.
"He came through the door with no problem."
After hearing testimony on how the gunman walked through and unlocked door on May 24 at Robb Elementary, that focus across the state intensified.
"It Is a huge, huge piece in creating time barriers," said Kathy Martinez-Prather, director Texas School Safety Center. "And we know time barriers save lives."
So this summer, Texas schools were ordered to check every exterior door at every campus.
During the school year, schools are required to do weekly checks. Many districts told us that they plan to do them daily or even more.
"What we have decided is four times a day," said Angel Rivera, Mesquite ISD Superintendent. "And so our high schools are doing it twice before lunch and twice after lunch. Our elementaries are doing the same thing."
But state officials say they want to leave nothing to chance. So to ensure schools are indeed securing exterior doors, school security measures will be put to the test.
"That's where the intruder detections take place," said Martinez-Prather. "We are going and assessing access control measures to make sure what we've asked them to do this summer has been accomplished."
Martinez-Prather's team at Texas State University in San Marcos is in charge of conducting unannounced intruder audits on Texas schools.
The audits are very simple. Trained inspectors, who will be unarmed and in plain clothes, will be going to schools around the state trying to get inside. In most cases, by simply seeing if a door is propped open or left unlocked.
"We will not be simulating an intrusion and that's important to know," said Martinez-Prather. "We are not going to be having individuals that are posing as threat actors trying to forcibly and aggressively enter a campus. That is not what's going to be happening."
Districts and local law enforcement will be notified the month of the inspections, but Martinez-Prather said the day and campus will be unannounced.
The idea is for schools to be ready every single day.
"What we're trying to do is prepare schools to minimize as much loss of life as possible and, in the best case scenario, prevent it completely," said Martinez-Prather.
If there are any issues discovered at a school, the school district's safety committee is required to address it immediately, and the school board must address it in a public meeting.