How school districts in Iowa hold up against the rest of the country

Sending a child to school knowing they are safe is something every parent thinks about. The Hearst Television National Investigative Unit and the Hearst Newspapers sent a school safety questionnaire to every school district in the country. 32 school districts in Iowa responded. All responding Iowa counties indicated that they have a plan in place for an active shooter situation, but more than 20% of responding counties indicated that not every employee was informed of the plan. That’s slightly better than the national response of 26%. “Our most important responsibility is to keep the children safe,” said Steven Barber, superintendent of the Atlantic Community School District in Cass County. Barber said it was the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. this made him take a close look at the buildings in his district. “We’re finding out with some of these nationwide school shootings, and the Uvalde thing really hit us in terms of ‘hey, is this going to happen to us prepared?'” Barber said. That’s the life-saving question schools across Iowa responded this year as part of the governor’s school safety initiative, a $100 million program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and the Elementary and the Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, of which a total of $7.5 million is for vulnerability assessments .A private company will inspect all 1,500 K-12 buildings in the state.Identify vulnerabilities and propose solutions.Barber says one of the most important things a district can do is to train all employees to prepare for a crisis situation.It is reported that In the questionnaire sent out by the Hearst National Investigative Unit, 62% of Iowa school districts indicated that si e carry out active marksmanship exercises once a year. Another 15% say they practice once a quarter, but nearly 19% say they do it less than once a year. Another issue the districts were asked about is classroom doors and their ability to lock from the inside. After the Uvalde, Texas shooting, the Robb Elementary Investigative Committee report found that one of the victim’s classroom doors could not be locked from the inside. According to the report, the school administration was aware of this, but no one issued a written work order for a repair. Across the country, 29% of districts surveyed say they have doors that cannot be locked from the inside. In Iowa, that number rises to over 40%, but about three-fourths of those districts say they plan to change that this school year.

Sending a child to school knowing they are safe is something every parent thinks about.

The Hearst Television National Investigative Unit and the Hearst Newspapers sent a school safety questionnaire to every school district in the country. 32 school districts in Iowa responded.

All responding Iowa districts indicated that they have a plan in place for an active shooter situation, but more than 20% of responding districts indicated that not all employees were aware of this plan. This is slightly better than the national response of 26%.

“Our most important responsibility is to keep the children safe,” said Steven Barber, superintendent of the Atlantic Community School District in Cass County.

Barber said it was the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that prompted him to take a close look at the buildings in his district.

“We’re finding out with some of these nationwide school shootings and the Uvalde thing really hit us in terms of ‘hey, this could happen to us. Are we prepared?’” Barber said.

That’s the life-saving question schools across Iowa are answering this year as part of the governor’s school safety initiative.

The $100 million program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and the Elementary and the Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

Of that, a total of $7.5 million goes to vulnerability assessments.

A private company will visit all 1,500 K-12 buildings in the state. Identify weaknesses and propose solutions.

According to Barber, one of the most important things a district can do is train all employees to prepare for a crisis situation.

It is reported that 62% of Iowa school districts indicated in the questionnaire sent out by the Hearst National Investigative Unit that they conduct active rifle drills once a year. Another 15% say they practice once a quarter, but almost 19% say they do it less than once a year.

Another issue the districts were asked about is classroom doors and their ability to lock from the inside.

After the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the Robb Elementary Investigative Committee report found that one of the victim’s classroom doors could not be locked from the inside.

According to the report, the school administration was aware of this, but no one issued a written work order for a repair.

Across the country, 29% of responding districts say they have doors that cannot be locked from the inside.

In Iowa, that number rises to over 40%, but about three-quarters of those counties say they intend to change that this school year.

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