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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 / 10:53 AM

Local Schools Tighten Security

Just more than a month after the school shooting in Connecticut that killed 20 students and six teachers, local parents, students, teachers, and administrators continue to be on edge about school safety.

Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that several St. Louis-area districts have already taken steps to make their facilities more secure.

At some schools, teachers can’t lock their doors without stepping outside into the hallway. Edwardsville School District remedied that issue by installing new interior classroom door locks during the winter break and has plans to get panic alarms. Lindbergh also plans to add door locks in the coming weeks, but the updates come at a price. The project is estimated to cost more than $200,000 for Lindbergh High School and Sperreng Middle School. And as part of its bond issue in April, Rockwood School District will be asking voters for money to add security measures to its schools.

In addition to door locks, some local schools have added additional police forces. Mehlville School District has added four police officers who will work part-time and focus their patrols at elementary schools at a price of $35,000 for the rest of the year. Other districts have tightened security at school entrances and updated emergency plans.

In terms of national school safety measures, President Barack Obama announced his $150-million “Comprehensive School Safety program” last week, which would provide funds for schools to hire school guards, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. In addition, a bill filed in the Senate would require teachers and staff to perform an annual active shooter drill with police, which isn’t currently required in Missouri.

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