NewsOlathe East Shooting


Parents talk increased security measures in Olathe schools following shooting

Olathe East shooting parents
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 17:11:25-05

OLATHE, Kan. — After a shooting rocked the Olathe community last week, conversations are now turning toward what they can do next to prevent this from happening again.

KSHB 41 News talked to one dad who says he's always felt his kids were safe, but there is always room for improvement.

Dropping their freshman off at Olathe East High School Monday morning was different for Jon Poteet's family.

"My wife dropped him off this morning," Poteet said. "She called me and said [there was] lots of support, [it's a] good community support out there."

Extra police and security were at the school, following the shooting on Friday that injured a school resource officer and an assistant principal.

"I think first and foremost you got to be thankful for Eric Clark, the SRO at Olathe East," Poteet said. "Kaleb Stoppel, the staff [and] administration."

Officer Clark shot and injured the suspect, an 18 year-old-senior at the high school.

Parents and the community have hailed Clark as a hero, thankful he was there to prevent a worse outcome.

"How can we go from good to great, to great to even better?" Poteet said.

The school has safety protocols, which include an Access Control System that screens people before they are buzzed into the building.

They have ALICE protocols — Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate — in active shooter situations.

All Olathe high schools and middle schools have designated SROs. 

But they don't have metal detectors. 

"I think it's worth looking at, whether it's evolved security solutions that are able to process high volume amounts of traffic," Poteet said. "A, because it's not invasive. B, because you wouldn't even feel like you're walking through a metal detector."

Since 2013, the district has passed more than a half billion dollars worth of bonds.

Just recently, the community voted to pass a $298 million dollar bond issue, part of which would update the access control systems, surveillance and add more cameras. 

Poteet said it's not about turning schools into prisons, it's about standing up for safety. 

"They did a great job. Okay. Let's keep doing a great job and let's look at what's out there," Poteet said. "They got the bond. There's money there for that. Lets really think through that."

The Olathe School District says administration will go over how Monday went and will discuss how they want to go about doing interviews and providing more information to the community. We could hear more from them on Wednesday.

Becky Grubaugh, district spokesperson, provided this statement to KSHB 41 News:

"Providing a safe and secure learning environment for students is of paramount importance in the Olathe Public Schools. The district has numerous practices, procedures and protocols in place each day to ensure a safe learning environment. You can read more about those here. The district is continually evaluating and assessing our safety infrastructure and protocols to ensure we are providing safe and secure learning environments. Naturally, a situation like the one on Friday brings that conversation to the forefront. As you are aware, our community recently approved a $298.3 million bond referendum in which safety is a key component for bond funds. We are proud to have a community who supports the district’s vision of safe and secure schools and will continue to work to ensure we are providing safe learning environments for all."
Olathe School District