CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Safe at school — it’s a top priority for teachers and parents. Especially in the months following the deadly Uvalde school shooting.

“We never take it lightly. We always look at it,” said Phil Cook, CJ R-1 Superintendent.

It’s something Carl Junction School Superintendent Dr. Phil Cook says they review frequently.

“We have a safety committee that meets once a month. It’s made up of our administrators, our directors, our SROs,” he said.

They see implementation as one of the big issues in past school shootings, prompting them to bring local police, deputies, and firefighters on campus. They point out that knowing the campus layout firsthand can only help if there’s a crisis.

“Comes in and they walk through our buildings. They just did it this summer to just familiarize themselves with our buildings and our settings here so if there were an emergency, they know right where to go right what to do,” said Cook.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Pyle has even completed certified training with the state as a security safety specialist.

“He knows what we, what steps we need to take. We made some adjustments in our practices because of his certification. So all those are just little things that they fit into this really big, big, complex program that’s safety and security in our schools,” added Cook.

Meanwhile, at the Joplin School District, upgraded security is being built in to the new Dover Hill Elementary School. They’re testing a new key fob entry system.

“But then also, we can set the times when they can access or not access the building. So that it just keeps the limits, the amount of unknowns that we have, which is always a problem in elementary schools. Electronic brain is playing an even bigger role,” said Dave Pettit, Joplin Schools Facility Director.

Other campus security

Those aren’t the only schools in the Four States zeroing in on safety. The McDonald County School District hired two new school resource officers last month.
They have also installed new security cameras in all 11 of its schools.

New cameras have also been installed in the Galena School District.

Galena Superintendent, Dr. Trey Moeller, says there’s a renewed focus on training all staff members for an active shooter response.