Columbia Public Schools adding window protection feature

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COLUMBIA - School district officials in Columbia are moving forward with a new safety feature for local school buildings. 

The Columbia Board of Education met Monday evening and approved to begin construction for the use of a security window film at the new Cedar Ridge Elementary.   

Michelle Baumstark, Community Relations Director for CPS, said they started installing these films about a year ago across the district.

"This is just one additional element to keep our buildings safe and secure. We feel like it was worth the investment to do so, so we've been working on that for more than a year now," she said. 

The security film is currently in 15 buildings and it will continue to be added throughout the district. 

The film is designed to create an additional layer of protection so the window glass doesn't shatter. 

Julie Cook is a mother of three, and has a daughter in high school. She said safety improvements are vital to keep parents at peace. 

"Well to be honest with you, for me, I literally just pray over my kids every morning and I pray over our school," Cook said. 

Wyatt Moore, a senior at Hickman High School, did not know about the new safety feature being installed across the district. 

"Anything we can do to keep our kids safe, the money going towards it would be great," he said. 

Moore said the school district communicates with the students well.

"They don't keep us in the dark or anything like that," he said. 

CPS has spent $73,907 on the installation of the films so far.

District officials said it is installed mostly on the exterior part of the windows and some interior parts as well. 

"Safety is our number one priority. We want kids to be able to come to schools so that they can learn," Baumstark said.