LAQUEY, Mo. (Jan. 23, 2013) — Meeting Tuesday night, the Laquey R-V School Board voted to approve a new security system based on a presentation from its school resource officer, Rex Larsen, on school safety considerations in light of the recent school shooting in the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut city of Newtown.
Larsen suggested additional door lock access control systems and cameras. The ordinary cost of the system would be nearly $30,000 but Laquey has been offered a discounted price of $8,400 to use the system as a national model test site, Larsen said.
“We don’t even want to think about that happening here but if he meets any kind of force… if we can just lock them out of the building completely… we’d be better off to do it that way,” said Larsen.
The new system would allow school staff members to use cameras to see who is at the school door, along with key cards issued to teachers and staff recording who entered and exited the building along with the times of entry and exit.
“They are doing some major things with innovations in security and locking systems, especially now that Sandy Hook has taken place,” Larsen said.
“The big thing about this system that I liked is you can add to it really, really easily,” Larsen said. “Any new products that they get, they will send us one to test… they will be sending high level agencies, they have government contracts.”
Camera systems could be monitored by law enforcement, Larsen said.
Some board members asked if the school could obtain bullet resistant glass and metal entrance doors as well, noting that early reports indicated that the Sandy Hook shooter blasted through windows to gain entry to the school. Larsen said that’s possible and said the cost would differ depending on the amount of money the district wants to spend.
“Nothing is going to be absolutely 100 percent foolproof, we’ve learned that,” Larsen said.
After board members unanimously approved the new security system, Superintendent Randy Caffrey reported on routine building matters and said he’ll be scheduling emergency drills for tornadoes, fires, intruders and other emergencies.
“Sometimes we don’t have to have an intruder drill, we have an intruder,” said Caffrey.
One example of that, Caffrey said, was a Rolla shooter incident in which the district placed the school on lockdown and considered a real situation of a potential intruder as meeting the requirements for a drill.
In other business:
- Representatives of the Sellers-Sexton car dealership presented their quarterly teacher of the year award to Joanna Asano.
- Caffrey reported that last year’s expenses were $2.2 million with $2.4 million in revenue; this year, the district is up $26,000 in expenditures but up $200,000 in receipts.
“It’s looking pretty good,” Caffrey said.
- PTO representatives said they’re eliminating a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and replacing it with a fifties-themed family sock hop in the elementary school gym, which they hope will have better attendance. The cost will be $2 per person, unless there are five or more people in a family, in which case the total cost will be $10. On Friday, March 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on March 14, the PTO will host a Laquey employee appreciation dinner in conjunction with the parent-teacher conferences since teachers may not have time to get home to fix dinner due to the conferences. On Saturday, April 6, the PTO will hold a community spring yard sale running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot if weather cooperates.
- Representatives of the Laquey junior class requested and received an increase from $2000 to $2500 in spending limits for their prom, which will be catered at the St. Robert Community Center. The increase will allow more than snacks, class representatives said.
- Board members discussed ways to improve security on the school’s construction site, including fencing and camera systems.
“We’re now suffering a few occurrences where houses have security alarms and people are still going in them,” said board president Larry Southard.
- Administrators said the recent flu outbreak hit Laquey badly, with up to 30 sick students out per day.
- The next board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, board members decided, with a salary committee presentation on the agenda.