Huston-Tillotson beefs up security at Spring Graduation - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Huston-Tillotson beefs up security at Spring Graduation

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With bombings, shootings and other violence happening in the world these days, security is being increased anywhere you can think of.  From marathons to graduation ceremonies.

Huston Tillotson's Linda Jackson says this year they beefed up their security a little bit to protect the 126 graduates and their guests at spring commencement Saturday morning.

"It's an outdoor program with about 2,000 guests.  So we're always mindful of the safety of our faculty, staff and students and of course this morning...guests.  And so we did just increase our security, put some different plans in place just to make sure that we had covered everything on the planning side just to ensure the safety of everyone here today," Jackson said.

Director of security Leslie York is a former Austin Police officer with 30 years of law enforcement under his belt.

He says this year they brought in 4 additional officers.

"Their main responsibility is just to watch and observe.  You see anything suspicious, call it in or if you see anything lying around, call it in.  So that part we are trying to stay on top of," York said.

York says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Look at what's going on around the world.  You know, you can't be too cautious," he said.

The ceremony ultimately had no issues Saturday morning.

We asked some of the graduates how they're feeling going into our changing world where violence is becoming commonplace.

"It can be a little scary but at the same time, I've pretty much done my number of years and school and I'm just gonna stick with all the training that I've learned while being in school and hope that I can actually reach out and touch someone in the real life world," said Valerie Dorsey.

"It's a challenge so yeah it's a little intimidating but I'm very excited too and I feel like I can meet that challenge," said Ben Torres. 

Chris Washington is already working for the Fort Worth school district as well as a gang intervention program.

He's hoping to prevent kids from getting caught up in the bad stuff.

"Well you just have to be prepared for anything.  This world, we've been going through things, the United States have been going through things way before I graduated college and we're always prepared.  I'm pretty sure Obama and other leaders are getting us prepared for everything.  So I just have to keep my students aware," Washington said.

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