Committee Discuss School Safety Ideas

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EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Eagle Point schools are looking to ensure the safety of its students by ramping up school security. Wednesday night, a committee established by the school district met to discuss a range of ideas: from installing security cameras to arming teachers.

Kim Hiddee not only works in Eagle Point as a day-care provider: she has two kids who go to school in the district.

“I think it’s important to keep all of the kids as safe as possible,” Hiddee said. “I’m not sure there’s any 100 percent [guarantee of safety]. Whether you’re at home, or if you’re in a bank or any kind of place. Unfortunately, there’s always a chance that someone will come in…just hope and pray that never happens to you.”

Just as much as Hiddee cares, the safety committee is invested in student safety.

“Almost every member of that committee has a child in our school system,” said Allen Barber, Director of Human Resources.

The safety committee laid out current safety measures in schools, and ways to improve them, like security cameras, school resource officers and panic alarms.

“We have a balanced budget at Jackson County District 9 and we have set aside funding to spend on these particular issues. So our school board budget committee needs to start budgeting for this transition,” Barber explained.

Arming teachers with guns was another option discussed again.

“The school district could dictate what type of screening, mental, physical, screening they went through before they got the authorization,” said Barber.

Other ideas include launching a Facebook page where kids can report rumors or give tips. The committee says the solution to school safety could be a combination of all of those ideas.

“Whatever they decide, I hope that we all stick together as a community and try to keep all of our kids safe,” said Hiddee.

Community members will get the chance to discuss ideas with the committee, with members planning a public forum soon. The committee is also thinking about putting up discussion points from their meeting on the district’s website, so the public can follow them. At the next meeting, committee members may invite students to give their input as well.