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As Comal ISD tightens security, district addresses concerns of mother of special-needs child

Parents won’t be allowed to walk their child into their classroom on the first day, but teachers will greet students outside the building instead.

COMAL COUNTY, Texas — The first day of school for Comal Independent School District will be different this year. With an increased awareness of safety and security, teachers will greet students outside and walk them through the building when the year begins on August 23.

For Kathleen Chafin’s son Ace, his special needs have to be monitored year-round.

“He is pretty much a mute for the first three months of school, and so going in, it's crucial he has someone to hold his hand,” Chafin said.

Chafin says her son has selective mutism and ADHD.

“That’s where he has his mom to guide him on the first day of school and ensure he gets to class and he is safe and his mental health is addressed,” Chafin said.

Before school starts next week, Comal ISD sent a letter to parents stating they won’t be allowed to walk their children into the school or classroom on day one.

The district told KENS 5 in a statement: 

“As we start the new school year, we are emphasizing the need for campus visitors to check in at the front office prior to entering the building to ensure that the campuses can account for everyone who is in their building at all times. Because it is not possible to check all parents in through the visitor management process on the first day of school, we are promoting meet-the-teacher night as the opportunity for parents to take those first-day photos and to walk the campus with their child.”

At first, Chafin was concerned the district wouldn’t make adjustments for her son and other special needs kids.

But with KENS 5's help, she was able to clear up her concerns.

“I did reach out to the principal…and she is going to accommodate him and we’re going to go in a bit later,” Chafin said.

It's easing the anxiety for this mom before her son starts another year.

Because of this change in policy, Comal ISD says its encouraging parents to go to Meet the Teacher nights. You can find the schedule for those events here.

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