Madison County summit addresses gun violence in schools

Changes are expected for school safety in Madison County.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Leaders in Madison County, Illinois held a summit to reduce the risk of gun violence in schools.

The summit was held in response to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to a press release. The meeting was closed to the public, but officials held a press conference following the meeting. Officials told members of the media topics surrounding school policies regarding training, potentially adding more school resource officers, and adding mental health resources among other things.

“Right now, they are required to do an active shooter drill within the first 90 days of school,” said Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools. “We’re required to do three fire safety drills, but only one active shooter drill. We’ll need to improve that. I think potentially — and in my talks with folks in Springfield — when I go up to Springfield, we’re probably going to discuss things that may be more requirements for that.”

“We encourage the public and this is a constant refrain that when you see something disturbing or hear something disturbing say something,” said Thomas Haine, Madison County States Attorney. “Disturbed individuals who commit violence in our schools almost always make their intentions known before the violence begins in some format. A threat to a school is a crime. If a threat is made, police will investigate it, and if it’s substantiated, they will make an arrest.”

“The school resource officer program has long been attentive and I think the way that they pay attention to the students’ needs mental health-wise has been strong,” Mike Krewson said, who had several kids in the Edwardsville Schools District and currently has grandkids in the district. “We don’t want to become a fortress or a police state. I know some districts lockdown like that we do have like I said our school resource officers and that’s important but they don’t focus only on clamping down on trouble makers they try to establish and maintain a relationship and I think by and large they do a good job.”

The summits are expected to happen twice a year.

Solutions from the latest meeting are expected to be released to the public in the coming weeks.

Click here for mental health resources.