Superintendent Eric Knost said he plans to open a conversation about school safety at the first Mehlville School District Board of Education meeting of 2013 on Jan. 10.
Protecting students and teachers from violent threats became a nationwide focus in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, CT, where a lone gunman killed 26 people, mostly children.
“It can happen anywhere, and you want to make sure you’re doing the most you can so it won’t happen,” Knost said.
One option for Mehlville schools is to hire more police officers, especially to patrol elementary schools. The district currently employs seven school resource officers, one at each high school and middle school, but the officers stationed at middle schools also each patrol two or three elementary schools.
Funding for school resource officers costs the school district a little over $350,000 a year. The school district takes on about 75 percent of the financial burden, and the rest is picked up by the St. Louis County Police Department, said Brian Lane, assistant superintendent.
Adding police officers to protect the schools, especially during the hectic morning hours during drop-off, could be a feasible, viable option for making schools safer, Knost said.
The National Rifle Association recently called for a stronger armed presence at schools across the country, including more school resource officers.
IF YOU GO
The next Mehlville School District Board of Education meeting is at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Mehlville High School library at 3200 Lemay Ferry Road.
If you want to present your own thoughts on school safety to the board of education, see the instructions below, provided by the school district.
|Any Mehlville School District resident who would like to address the Board on a matter that affects the entire District has the opportunity to speak during the “Open Comments” period scheduled on the agenda at the opening of the Board of Education meeting. Residents who wish to speak are requested to sign the “Open Comments” sheet that is provided, also giving their address and topic of the comments to be made. Three minutes will be allotted per person. When a group wishes to address the Board, the group must pick a spokesperson, and that individual will have five minutes to speak for the entire group. Time limits will be strictly enforced.|
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