Missouri Gov. Mike Parson launches School Safety Task Force

CAMDENTON, Mo. -- "[In] Missouri, the schools are so different," Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday. "No two schools are alike."

That's why Parson signed an executive order Wednesday establishing the Missouri School Safety Task Force.

"At the end of the day it's about keeping our kids secure," Parson added.

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe will head the task force. He will be working with the Department of Public Safety, Department of Mental Health. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri School Boards’ Association, and the Center for Education Safety to find the best safety practice policies for schools across the state.

"We need to learn from the experts and we need to have a good cross section of educators and the school board association, and really the tactical experts when it comes to school safety and get their recommendation and see which of those fit in each of our school districts across the state," said Dr. Tim Hadfield, Superintendent of the Camdenton R-3 School District.

Hadfield says his schools were recently able to install buzzer system on the entryways of the schools, install shatterproof glass on exposed windows, and make storm shelters available inside buildings to keep students safe.

At the School of the Osage, they have implemented software where your ID is scanned, and a background check is done on the spot before you enter the school. They can know immediately whether or not a visitor is on the sex offender registry and can call for help right at the front desk from the software.

"Once you're in, you're working with staff members who are trained with ALICE training in terms of response if you did get past and you're up to something, we have training in place," said Dr. Laura Nelson, Deputy Superintendent at the School of the Osage.

Parents say they're looking forward to what the Governor's task force can come up with.

"As a parent, it gives me a little sigh of relief that we're going to attack it on all fronts," said Mindi Sales. "Not just locally, but state coming together making sound decisions and clear guidelines to handle it, and we're prepared. That's the biggest thing."

The task force will have until July 31st to make their findings and recommendations to Gov. Parson.