Security measures at Bakersfield School

Bakersfield teacher Beth Sasseen Pickle shows the door brackets that were installed recently in the school to serve as an extra means of classroom security.

School started Tuesday in Bakersfield, and these new warning signs welcome those entering through any gates to the school’s campus, which includes preschool through 12th-grade students. The signs say, “Attention: Please be aware that certain staff members at Bakersfield R-IV School District are armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” Bakersfield superintendent Amy Britt declined to say how many staff members, or which staff members, are armed, but she said only teachers and administrators are eligible to participate, not support staff members. Those who volunteered to carry a weapon completed 120 hours – three weeks – of training this summer at the Missouri University Law Enforcement Training Center in Columbia. The training included firearms training as well as instruction in identifying and responding to threats, including evaluating the mental state of students and adults, she said. Bakersfield School also has a resource officer, Wayne Roman. No other Ozark County schools have erected warning signs like Bakersfield’s, but Dora superintendent said his school also has armed staff members, and the exterior doors have stickers saying security training has been provided by Shield Solutions. Other Ozark County schools could not be reached for comment or preferred to defer comment about staff members being armed.

Ozark County Times

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