Shawnee Mission School District to hold town hall meetings on school security

Belinder Elementary was one of the schools that had a security upgrade completed over the summer.

The Shawnee Mission School District will hold five town hall meetings in November – one at each high school – to discuss the district’s plans for safety and security in the schools.

A districtwide survey earlier this year “identified a need for a comprehensive review of the district’s security status along with a plan to ensure the safety and security of all students, staff and faculty,” according to a district release. “In response to those concerns, John Douglass, the newly appointed director of safety and security, has compiled a very aggressive security plan for the district,” the release states.

Already the district has upgraded several elementary schools to create secure entrances. A bond issue planned for 2015 contains funds to continue the security upgrades to all of the district’s schools.
The district also has instituted background screening, fingerprinting and a training class for volunteers in the schools who have direct contract with students.

“The plan has created sophisticated emergency operations protocols, recommendations for a capital security initiative and upgrades in staffing to meet these needs,” according to the district. The town hall meetings are designed to share the details of the plan and ask questions about district security.

Each session will run from 7 to 9 p.m. The SM East meeting will be Nov. 17 and the SM North meeting will be Nov. 20. Other meetings will be held at SM South on Nov. 10, SM West on Nov. 12 and SM Northwest on Nov. 18.