MANHATTAN, KS (KSNT) – It’s safe to say that student safety is at the top, if not the top, of every school district’s primary focus. The Manhattan-Ogden School Board is looking to make its school safety an even higher priority.
The district had to lock down three different schools last week. Anthony Middle School has entered what the district calls “code black” as an individual not affiliated with the school entered the building. Then in Eisenhower, after an incident nearby, one person started walking to school. Most recently, on Friday, February 18, a block of Manhattan High School where one of the bathrooms was vandalized and investigated as a potential threat. District leaders sat down Wednesday night to make sure they had a full understanding of what happened, reviewing safety protocols and working to determine how the district should move forward.
“I think the things we really look at again are when we have these things happening, where are the pain points or where are the areas where we can grow,” said Karla Hagemeister, Manhattan-Ogden school board president. “And we know our staff are probably the best line of defense we will ever have because our staff know our students, our staff know our families, and our staff care.”
The district already has a no open door policy. Some other ideas that were discussed to improve school safety were installing sensors in areas that cannot be monitored by cameras, adding more school resource workers, and more staff to keep an eye on entrances. The district will revisit the matter next Wednesday to further discuss school safety.