Jefferson City School Board Addresses Important Topics

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City school board addressed two major topics at its meeting Thursday night. One issue discussed was extra security in public school buildings. Parents attending a public forum said after the Sandy Hook shooting, safety is a big concern. They also said they are unsure if security cameras and unarmed security officers offer enough protection.

J & J Security said adding armed security guards would make schools safer. Jim Clark said he and other officers are trying to help add necessary resources to Jefferson City schools. "Our kids in our schools need to be safe. They don't need to come home wondering one it gonna (going to) happen to them," Clark said.

Jefferson City school officials said after the Sandy Hook shooting they took steps to protect students by asking the Jefferson City Police Department and the Cole County Sheriff's Department to help monitor schools. "Right now we are not looking at adding armed security to schools," Community Relations David Luther said. "And if we were to move in that direction, it would be with the Jefferson City Police Department."

Increasing taxes in Jefferson City was also discussed at Thursday's meeting. The school board wants to add a 55-cent tax increase to the April ballot. That tax would support a new high school and elementary school. Thirty cents of the increase would go toward the schools, while a 25 cent tax levy would help with safe transportations of students, security, technology, and professional development for faculty and staff.

Officials said if the tax increase is approved, the 25-cent levy would stay in place after a new high school and elementary school are completed.

The school board unamiously agreed to add the tax increase to the April ballot.