School safety and security were on the minds of educators and administrator's at the School of the Osage Board of Eduction meeting on Monday. The school's task force recapped the 2018 list of priorities that were explored during the current school year.

School safety and security were on the minds of educators and administrator's at the School of the Osage Board of Eduction meeting on Monday. The school's task force recapped the 2018 list of priorities that were explored during the current school year.

Student involvement and mental health were at the top of the list. The monitoring of electronic communication for self-harm and harm to others was researched as well as looking into an online reporting system for safety issues, including bullying. The task force also looked at how students could be trained for assessing peculiar behaviors and how they could report it to teachers and administrators.

School Resource officer, Deputy Michael Hutzler of the Miller County Sheriff's Department, presented and demonstrated several door-locking options that have been tested for building safety. Hutzler explained an inexpensive door magnet option that would make it impossible for a school shooter to easily open classroom doors.

"These magnets are what I feel is the best option to keep a potential shooter from opening doors and they only cost 70 cents each," explained Hutzler.

Hutzler also demonstrated a special metal door lock that was a more expensive option at $60 per lock, but said they were more difficult for police officers and firefighters to penetrate in case of an emergency. Other options looked into thus far include key fob entries to all schools; updated and additional camera systems for the school district; new intercom system; and a better visitor management system for the front office personnel to track visitors to the school.

In looking at teacher safety or arming employees, the task force found the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training solution seemed to work best for the Osage School District.

This is a system for training and drilling staff members and students on what to do in active shooter scenarios, including the possibility of fighting back with whatever impromptu tools might be available. Camdenton and Morgan County R-II Versailles school districts currently use this resource.

Adding an additional School Resource Officer with a salary of $35,000 per year was also discussed as bringing peace of mind to teachers and students.

The task force also said that additional security at special events would be helpful as well. The task force's final analysis stated the perception is that School of the Osage is safe, though there are some things that can help them continue to improve on that perception. Noting that the students and staff have identified that knowledge and training is important.

The safety task force also made recommendations to the board to be considered, including adding an additional School Resource Officer; the implementation of A.L.I.C.E. training for all staff members; purchasing inexpensive door magnets to help teachers lock doors in an emergency situation.

The task force also recommended that students be trained on safety, including how to run, hide and fight. The addition of an online reporting system and visitor management system were also recommended for the 2018-19 school year.