As summer vacation comes to a close, Wyandotte County schools prepare for another year, but for the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, this year will come with a few changes.
Though the Kansas City, Kan., school district has always had in place student safety precautions this year they will be furthered with full-time officers and a universal crisis drill to help with intruders and other threats.
District Chief of Staff David Smith explained that the security systems already in place at all schools have been very successful.
“(At) all of our schools you have to call the office to enter. We also have cameras in front of the [main ] door to see the visitors," Smith said. "Schools are one of the safest places for students."
Student Resource Officers are posted at schools to help handle student violence, drugs, and disturbances. They only step in when the case is serious enough for law enforcement to get involved, according to school officials.
The Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools have added to these SROs by having full-time officers at all middle and high schools and will have those officers patrolling the elementary schools as well.
Recently schools have switched to a universal crisis drill that include “lock out,” meaning an outside force is trying to enter, and “lock in,” which means an intruder is in the school.
"This is a standard response protocol," Smith explained. "This means that no matter the school, the law enforcement is familiar with the names."
Smith continued by saying that to make sure all persons involved in the school are fully informed, the school will have posters hung up all over the school and will send home fliers to parents. They also will perform drills so students know exactly what to do in certain situations to keep themselves safe.
"Schools have always paid attention to safety," Smith said. "My sense is that educators take student safety extremely seriously and they do a good job of making sure students feel safe."