Kansas schools beef up security ahead of new year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — School districts across Kansas have been approved for $5 million in state grants all for enhancing school security.

The Kansas State Department of Education awarded grant money to 153 school districts across the state in total.

At the Bonner Springs School District, over $100,000 in grant money will be used to help remodel entrances at several schools and make them more secure.

“Now, you buzz into the hallway, then into the office, then the secretaries buzz you into the general population,” explained Bonner Springs School District Superintendent Dan Brungardt. 

On Monday, Brungardt showed 41 Action News the remodeled secure entrance to Delaware Ridge Elementary School.

While the remodeling happened before the grant was approved, state funds will help cover the cost of the project.

“I really believe we’ve upgraded our safety and security quite a bit,” Brungardt explained. “The goal is to keep it still like a school but not like a prison.”

In total, metro school districts will receive over $1 million combined in state funding for security enhancements.

According to data provided by the Bonner Springs School District, the following metro areas will receive funding:

DOUGLAS COUNTY:

  • Baldwin City - $25,510
  • Eudora - $32,281
  • Lawrence - $168,549

JOHNSON COUNTY:

  • Blue Valley - $415,831
  • Spring Hill - $72,980
  • De Soto - $133,663
  • Olathe - $155,342

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY:

  • Easton - $11,492
  • Leavenworth - $70,144
  • Lansing - $48,806

MIAMI COUNTY:

  • Louisburg - $31,659

WYANDOTTE COUNTY:

  • Turner - Kansas City - $76,805
  • Piper - Kansas City - $41,852
  • Bonner Springs - $50,142
  • Kansas City - $223,500

Other areas around the state receiving grants can be seen in the tweet below. 

Also new to this school year will be a requirement from the state for each school district to hold more crisis drills.

The exercises will be used to better prepare schools for intruder situations and both medical and police responses.

“The job really is to keep kids safe,” said Delaware Ridge principal Clark McCracken. “It’s to provide a learning environment where they can be the most successful. Right now, the number one part of that is school safety.”

Brungardt said the crisis drills, which will now be mandated and documented by the state, could help save lives.

“I believe all school districts were doing it. I think by mandating it, it provides more safety and security to the state,” he explained. “It’s kind of like a fire drill. We’ll continue the fire drills but by mandating it, you know it’s happening.”

Students will return to Delaware Ridge Elementary School on Thursday.

Moving forward, school districts that received the grant money will be able to use the funding for new doors, windows, cameras, intercoms, metal detectors, and other security enhancements.

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