Fox School District discusses safety plans

10:39 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

ARNOLD, Mo. (KSDK) - Thursday's school shooting in Atlanta and the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut have parents asking questions about their child's school safety.

Parents in the Fox School District in Arnold attended a safety summit to discuss current and future safety policies.

It was a meeting of the minds, brainstorming session for parents, school officials, police and fire. The Fox School District wants to be proactive when it comes to safety instead of reactive.

"I never really had a big concern, just because I always thought I was safe at school so I figured he was safe at school and he doesn't show any concerns about it, but I think we could place a little more security in the schools to make parents feel a little more comfortable," says parent Christy Beaver.

Hundreds of parents packed in for the first ever safety summit and on the table, safety measures already in place and safety measures in the works.

The Fox School District already has cameras in schools and on buses, and they have 2.5 school resource officers. Also visitors must sign in at the office and the school has a new policy of locking all of the doors. A reaction to the Newtown shooting.

"One of our buildings has 72 outside doors, one of our high schools, we've always locked every door, but not the front door," says Superintendent Dr. Dianne Critchlow. "So immediately we locked the front door and put up a sign, if you would like to get in the building please dial this number."

The district it thinking about what to do in the future to beef up security. Including installing doorknobs that lock from the inside, reminding students of stranger danger and a brand new buzzer system.

"Is it going to keep a shooter out of the building? Most likely not," says Dr. Critchlow, but she says hopefully it would delay a possible intruder.

Some parents did bring ideas to the table.

"I just think they need card reader access for the buzzers for the staff and possibly law enforcement," says parent Eddie Lee.

"A buzzer system to the emergency crews for the police and fire department, and an emergency button to alert the different classrooms," says Beaver.

Thankfully the district will be able to pay for these types of safety measures.

"We passed a no tax increase bond issue, and we have extra funds out there," says Dt. Critchlow.

She says they actually have $2.5 million, some of which will be used for school safety.

Another idea, the district will create safety committee made up of parents, school officials anyone who wants to take part. At the end of Thursday's meeting there were dozens of parents signing up to be a part.



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