When you talk about protecting our youth, the discussion should involve not only the school district, but the police and fire departments and other local first responders. You must invite leaders from the community to the discussion table.
Today, the high schools and middle schools in U-46 have a police officer stationed at them during school hours. I think, with the support of the local police officers, we need to consider having a police officer at or near all schools in the district, including the elementary and preschools. Perhaps, where there are several schools close together, an officer on patrol could be always in the immediate vicinity of the school and checking in with an administrator within the school regularly.
Technology also is important in keeping our kids safe. There are already cameras at entry points within our schools, and we need to ensure that people both inside the school and a security officer or a police officer are able to view those cameras as well. Technology goes far beyond video surveillance; there are silent call buttons and mass notification options that need to be considered as well.
We need to make sure that when it comes to the safety of our children we are having the discussions we need to, on a regular basis. The schools should be doing drills, not just fire and tornado drills, but safety and security drills as well.
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