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School district communication systems concerning parents

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Other than school safety, there are concerns about the way the school districts are communicating to parents.

Parents at a shooting outside Tompkins High School in Katy ISD got word from the school district almost two hours after it happened.

Investigators say around 6 a.m., a cafeteria worker died after her estranged husband approached her in the parking lot and shot her. No students were in danger, but parents were concerned.

Katy ISD says they had a glitch in their communication system which is why parents didn't get news of the shooting.

"The message was in the cue but the system did not send it out. We are going to take steps to fix that so that when we do have an emergency, there is no preset time," said Steve Stanford with Katy ISD.

Houston Independent School District has a different communication system in place in case of an emergency.

"They have a big fast automated notification system, a phone messaging system, where they can get to all 200,000 households in about 15 minutes. It can go to everyone's cell phone or home phone. Anyway they need to contact them, they can do that. Most districts have that," said Terry Abbott, a former HISD spokesperson who now has his own business public relations business.

Abbott says holding back information is the worst thing to do for worried parents.

"They have got every right to know, as soon as you know what is going on," said Abbott.

The fatal stabbing at Spring High School last week had parents outraged about the lack of information they received.

Spring ISD says they were waiting to get all of the facts.

"The worst thing to do is leave parents guessing about whether their children are safe," said Abbott.

Many school districts have also been turning to social media to update parents.

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