How Kentucky schools are taking steps to keep classrooms safer

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School safety is a top priority from many Kentucky education leaders, and some are already working on aspects of a recently-signed school safety law.

The law includes adding safety measures like metal detectors and school resource officers, but it also includes teachers keeping doors locked.

It also addresses students who make "fake" school threats. Jon Akers with the Kentucky Center for School Safety said the law is a comprehensive approach to handling threats, and it also adds valuable personnel to each district.

"Every school district now has a school safety coordinator," Akers said.

Those coordinators work with the school to get into compliance with the new law. A school safety marshal will start having unannounced visits next school year to make sure all procedures are in place.

Some of the practices are keeping exterior doors secure, checking visitors in and out and locking classroom doors.

"Schools have multiple exterior doors, so if that can be breached, what is your next level of protection? Locked classroom doors," Akers said.

Kentucky schools saw more than 1,300 threats last school year, and the new law states these students will face a felony charge if they commit the crime.

"We need these kids to stand before a judge and explain why they thought they could do something like that," Akers. "If we don't flex strong on this one we are going to have the kids in and out all the time."

Students will also learn about a statewide tip line running through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

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