TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It has become a real concern for parents, students and educators alike, ‘how can we keep students safe in schools?’
The Safe and Secure Schools unit, under the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), is working to do just that by distributing grant money to Kansas schools.
Five million dollars of funding was allocated by the Kansas Legislature to help fund the grants. The money is divided between the schools per pupil. That worked out to be $19.24 per pupil given to the selected schools, spanning 169 districts.
The money went towards improvements of overall building safety and infrastructure as well as updated security systems. This included cameras and special door locks to get in and out of the building.
“In the state of Kansas, we feel our schools are safe,” says Susan McMahan, Director of the Safe and Secure Schools Unit, KSDE. “We’re just adding another layer of protection and more of a situational awareness piece that we learn in our jobs so that school districts are situationally aware of what’s happening in their communities.”
The Safe and Secure Schools unit also urges the public to use their school safety hotline and anonymous suspicious activity website.
The safety hotline is managed in partnership with the Kansas Highway Patrol. Any threats of school violence can be reported to (877)626-8203 and the proper authorities will be made aware.
The suspicious activity website is available for any reports of suspicious activity. This can include threats, mental health checks, abuse, etc. The website is anonymous and monitored by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
According to the KSDE, both resources have already helped stop potential threats.
To see the full list of grants awarded, click here.