SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– An outside buzzer is just one of the ways schools in Springfield ensure its students stay safe.
“The doors are locked and you have to be buzzed in and approved by someone at the front desk,” says Jim Farrell, director of Springfield School Police.
So that the little ones are protected.
“If we can’t keep them safe, then they can’t learn,” says Addy McCord, a teacher at Weaver Elementary School.
Everyday Weaver Elementary School keeps its doors locked. McCord has seen how school security has changed over her ten-year career.
“I have seen the evolution of security get ramped up and I as an adult feel even safer now than I did starting ten years ago. I feel like we are more prepared than we were even ten years ago,” says McCord.
Part of that sense of security comes from being trained on what to do if the unthinkable were to happen.
“We practice so it is not a surprise,” says McCord.
Students participate in an active shooter drill at least once a year.
Farrell explains how a routine lockdown would change if an active shooter was in the area.
“We typically don’t let them out for recess or P.E. is what it would be in a situation where local law enforcement called for it,” says Farrell.
Like when 911 told school police officers to put Mark Twain Elementary School on lockdown.
“They wanted us to keep the kids indoors and if they’re outside, get them inside. There was a man who ran away from police on a car stop from what we got and we were told and had a gun in his back pocket,” says Farrell.
And if heaven forbids, an active shooter makes it inside Weaver Elementary…..
“Our doors would be pulled shut, our lights would be turned off, and we would follow the normal protocol that we have,” says McCord.
Farrell says the lockdown at Mark Twain Elementary School was quick as officers were able to make an arrest within minutes.