BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – School’s back in session, and security concerns come with it. Whether it’s making sure students are safe online or safe physically, there’s a lot administrators have to plan for.
The Center for Homeland Defense and Security says there were 2,069 school shootings in the U.S. last year. North Dakota had three events last year, and while none of them resulted in anyone aside from the shooter being injured, the experience can leave families wondering what schools are doing to keep kids safe.
“I really believe that a lot of schools, even in the rural setting, are matched to the security levels of the bigger schools,” Deputy School Resource Officer David Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson says preventative measures are being taken to ensure students’ safety. These include magnetic doors, key fobs for teachers and stricter visitor admittance policies.
There’s also cyber security to consider as well. Library Media Specialist Angie Siewert says a common issue that comes up with teens is inappropriate messaging.
“Mrs. Smith might say, ‘I have a pocket of kids in my class who keep finding themselves on the wrong sites,’ or whatever, and then we would work with that teacher to come up with a plan, an appropriate lesson, to teach the students good behaviors,” she said.
Bismarck Public Schools install filters on students’ school-issued devices to keep students from accessing questionable content. Tomlinson says parents can do their part by making sure they understand school policies.
North Dakota is the first state to mandate cybersecurity education in its school systems.
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