With Sandy Hook still fresh in everyone's minds, as well as other recent shootings, gun safety awareness has reached even the small towns in the Midwest.
Immediately after the Sandy Hook shooting parents and administrators were somewhat nervous and discussions were implemented by the administrators on how to handle just such a situation here. Of course, the big issue is not just about safety, but keeping the guns out of the schools in the first place.
Although not gun related, in November of 2012 the Jasper County Community Unit 1 District had a bomb threat made to the high school. After that incident school safety policies were reviewed and meetings were held on how to improve the safety at the schools.
Visitors to the schools are asked their name and 'buzzed in' before entering the schools. All visitors have to sign in at the main offices and will be given a visitors pass before being allowed to walk the halls of our schools. Classrooms are numbered and phones are available in the classrooms.
Jasper County Community Unit 1 Superintendent Dan Cox stated, “There have been no policy changes in regards to guns and school safety. We have increased communication with our staff as well as with the First Responders in the community.”
Metal detectors would be an increased cost to the schools and the taxpayers and school gun safety programs are also costly. In many communities a call for stiffer gun control laws has been suggested.
While all the above are good ideas, there are other ways to implement a safety 'program' for the schools.
Cox continued, “We have Newton City Police Officers and Jasper County Sheriff's Officers as well as Illinois State Police that casually drop by our schools to see how things are going. This is a positive presence of law enforcement.”