Educators Look for School Safety Answers
OSAGE BEACH - The Missouri Safe Schools and College Conference discussed new safety policies Thursday for the 2010-2011 school year. Principals, administrators, and police officers discussed not only how to improve safety procedures, but also what's making schools unsafe these days. Terry Kruse serves as principal of Russellville High School in Cole County. He interacts with the students everyday and says his first priority is their safety.
"I know the kids feel safe, because we have run surveys and the feedback say's they feel safe," said Kruse.
Conference attendees discussed past situations of violence to look for solutions for the future. Also, attendees looked at exhibits promoting various security cameras, an evacuation bed, and communication devices. Kruse tries to keep up with the new technology to keep his school safe.
"This year, we're adding cameras that will do a variety of movements that we haven't had before. We're also updating for clarity, because cameras from certain distances, such as parking lots, the video tends to be grainy or fuzzy," said Kruse.
School violence continues to display different trends every year. This year bullying is on the rise, while gun activity and bomb threats are declining. The associate executive director of the Missouri School Boards' Association said bullying is the most common form of school violence at schools in Missouri.
"Based on the phone calls we have recieved and the information we obtained from putting events like this together, I think bullying is a concern, and I think the emotional welfare of youth, and the impact of young people who do not have good self images," said Joel Denney.
The three-day conference took place at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.