CPS Superintendent reacts to Florida high school shooting

CPS Superintendent reacts to Florida high school shooting

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Peter Stiepleman sent out a letter to parents and guardians about the Florida shooting on Thursday morning. 

In the letter, Stiepleman said his first reaction was sadness, but he also thought about the importance of remaining vigilant. 

Stiepleman reminded parents that safety is the top priority in Columbia Public Schools. He went into details about the protocols the schools take to ensure the students safety.  He let parents know that all staff and employees are trained in emergency response procedures. 

The superintendent discussed how the district is constantly evaluating its safety and security, "Those plans include more lighting in parking lots, additional video intercom electronic door locks and security cameras, and installation of protective window film in all of our schools.  We are exploring the installation of facial recognition software in order to better identify individuals who have been banned from school campuses.  We are reviewing building entryway designs at several facilities to better improve safety and access in mind."

Most of that would be covered by the $30 million bond issue that will show up on the April 3 ballot. There's $750,000 earmarked for security upgrades.

Mental health was also touched on in the letter. Stiepleman said, " Early identification and intervention is key so that we may meet the individual needs of students.  Columbia Public Schools is also part of the Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition, which brings our local school districts together to implement prevention and intervention methods, reduce risk factors for children and coordinate services for at-risk students and families."

Stiepleman also reminded parents that if students need counselors to discuss the shooting, they are available today. 

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