OLATHE, Kan. — Some students in the Olathe School District return to class Thursday morning.
When they enter their schools, students will notice several upgrades to the security system.
“We have to do everything we can to protect our kids,” said Paige Barrows, whose oldest son will start kindergarten.
The most obvious security change may be lanyards every teacher will wear this school year with a CrisisAlert card.
A button on the card allows the teacher to call for help or place the entire campus on lockdown in an emergency.
The police and district headquarters receive notifications when a teacher activates the lockdown feature.
The district spent $2 million on the program. Barrows saw a demonstration of the system.
“Hopefully it (the CrisisAlert system) lessens the chances of anyone getting hurt or even experiencing something traumatic in the first place,” Barrows said.
Amy Carter remembers March 4, 2022. Her daughter was in class at Olathe East High School the day Jaylon Elmore, a student at the school, allegedly brought a gun to school and shot a school resource officer. The officer shot back at the student.
The district attorney cleared the officer of any wrongdoing. Elmore faces a charge of attempted capital murder.
“I never want to be in that situation again,” Carter said.
She appreciates the district placing an emphasis on security.
On top of the CrisisAlert system, Olathe improved security cameras at its schools and upgraded doors to alert the office if they’re left open. Most doors will now lock automatically when shut.
Carter is looking toward state lawmakers to act where the district cannot by enacting new gun control and safe storage laws.
“Lawmakers really should be advocating in all of our best interests, including our students, and I just don’t think more guns make us safer,” Carter said.
All students return to class in the Olathe School District Friday, Aug. 12.