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District officials outline strengths, areas for improvement in response to Olathe East shooting

Posted at 8:50 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 00:06:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Thursday evening, officials with Olathe Public Schools outlined what went well and what can be improved in prevention and response after a shooting at Olathe East High School in March.

Among the things the district said went well was the quick response and action taken by a school resource officer.

The district also said the building was put into lock down in an efficient manner, and communication between district personnel also was good.

Officials touted the reunification process between students and their parents after the shooting.

However, the district also pointed out some areas for improvements if a life-threatening incident were to occur again.

Complete coverage: Olathe East shooting

The district officials said they would work on communicating with the Olathe Police Department when they suspected a student had a weapon.

This is to ensure protocol is followed.

Officials said something similar to following up with secondary administrators when a student is suspected of having a weapon.

They also told the board overall communication to staff during lock down, reunification and evacuation could've been better.

School district patrons have given their approval to dozens of bond issues over the decades.

That money allowed the district to upgrade its security cameras with more powerful lenses.

They also put those improved cameras inside school buildings.

School doors have gone high-tech with new security upgrades that will alert school building officials when a door is propped open and or left open.

The doors will be scheduled to be automatically locked to remove human error of leaving the door unsecured.

At Thurday's meeting, a new alert system was demonstrated.

The system, which is called the "CrisisAlert" will debut in the district this school year.

Staff can trigger two different types of alerts through clicking a button on their badges.

The first one is a "staff alert," which will alert other staff members when immediate assistance is needed.

This can include a fight or a medical emergency.

Principal's and the Student Resource Officer would be notified of the staff member's location.

A staff member can trigger that alert by clicking the button on their badge one time.

The second one is a "Campus-Wide Emergency Lock Down," which should be used in situations like an active shooter.

To trigger this, a staff member would continuously press the button.

This would trigger a set of lock down procedures, which includes notifying every active computer at the school to lock down.

In addition, a centralized system in the district headquarters will also be triggered.

Law enforcement will also be notified.

The school district hired 5 school safety specialists for each high school.

Those safety specials are retired Olathe Police Department officers with a minimum of 25 year of law enforcement experience.