FORT SCOTT, Ks. — In light of the school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, districts across the country, and in the four states, are working harder than ever to keep students safe.
“Every student, and every faculty member, and every support team within the school districts are very important to me,” says Bill Martin, Bourbon County Sheriff, “I do feel with proper funding, done properly, a school resource officer should be in a school every day.”
Discussions are taking place between county commissioners at the Bourbon county courthouse over school security.
As it stands, the county has two school resource officers.
“One in 235, which is Uniontown School District and then you have one in the high school at 234 which is in Fort Scott,” says Lynne O’Harah, Bourbon County Commission Chairman.
A recent proposal would add a second officer to the Fort Scott school system, however after an executive session on Tuesday, those plans have paused.
“There was a motion that was withdrawn, it’s just a matter of going through the formalities to see if it can actually be done,” says O’Harah.
While they wait for discussions to pick back up again about Fort Scott schools, officials are concerned with the future of the only other SRO in the county in the Uniontown school district.
A grant that funds the position is set to expire in 2023.
“If there’s ever an incident that ever occurs in Uniontown, we have 14 miles that we have to respond,” says Martin.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem or question, SRO positions have been supported in the past, it’s just a matter of the money side of it,” says O’Harah.
Commissioners plan to resume conversations with Fort Scott, law enforcement, and other schools involved.
O’Harah says, “Probably after the first of the year.”
Martin says, “It’s going to have to end up being a roundtable discussion through a work session with everybody involved saying, this is what’s going on.”