A couple of parents addressed the Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education on Tuesday night (Dec. 18), regarding what measures were being taken within the school district to promote safety and to prevent a future incident like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week, which left 20 children and six adults dead.
"Our administrative team met today (Tuesday) with the Chillicothe Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and our resource officer [about this topic]," said R-2 Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes at that time.
Barnes said that the district has decided to base its preliminary safety-amping measures upon those currently implemented at Central Accelerated School, where doors remain locked 24/7, and access can only be gained per a staff or faculty key, or by utilizing a pushbutton camera doorbell, which is linked to the school office, where personnel are able to judge said visitor's accessibility before unlocking.
Currently, the R-2 district is planning to install such features at Dewey and Field schools. Time frames are contingent upon speed of order and delivery of said items.
"It's a little harder to [use the doorbell cameras] with the upper level students, who are constantly coming and going," Barnes also noted.
Increased security is to start immediately, Barnes said. Dewey School Principal Abby Smith confirmed during the conversation that said measures would begin at her school on Wednesday.
Upon being made aware of different open access points from the outside of the district buildings during certain times (most notably, the playground at Dewey School, during recess), Barnes took careful note, and told the parents: "I'll follow up on that."
When asked about students who open doors for strangers who knock, Barnes said that staff training would be passed down to students, informing them that only teachers are allowed to open outside access doors, and said that such is already in the process of being implemented around R-2.