Park Hill parents talk school safety measures with board - KCTV5

Park Hill parents talk school safety measures with board

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Weeks after a student was caught with a gun at Park Hill High School, parents met with administrators to address their concerns about safety at the school.

They learned a student brought a gun to school thanks to the diligence of another student. The student knew about the gun and quickly reported it to school officials.

The student brought a loaded .22 caliber hand gun to school on Jan. 30.

The school says the student had the gun tucked inside his coat. He was brought into the office and later taken into custody. The school was put in hold mode, which officials said is different from a lockdown.

When a school is in a hold, all of its doors are locked, no one can get in or out, but the school day goes on as scheduled. In a lockdown, a school's doors are not only locked, but the blinds are drawn on the windows and students are moved to a safe area - everything stops.

Deputies say the student told them he had issues that were not school-related, and they wouldn't elaborate anymore on why the student had the gun.

After the Dec. 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, when a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators inside the school before committing suicide, many local parents wanted to know more about how the incident was handled.

The meeting took place at 6 p.m. at Park Hill High School.

The school's principal, Dr. Brad Kincheloe, said what happened is many parents don't know the difference between when a school is put on hold versus being put on lockdown and they requested a meeting after the regular PTA meeting. Parents wanted to get briefed on the school's safety plan, including how they deal with guns and how parents can be notified sooner if something happens.

Kincheloe said the Jan. 30 incident did two things at the school.

"It reminds us that we all have to remain vigilant at all times, but it's probably tempting to begin to be distracted from our business at hand," he said. "School safety and student security - that's No. 1 and will always be No. 1, but we have a school that we need to take care of and education's going to take place."

At Tuesday's meeting, Kincheloe said he expected parents to offer their own safety suggestions, like the use of metal detectors. The school district will consider all the ideas before deciding whether to make any changes.

Park Hill High School has an armed school resource officer on campus.

This wasn't the only incident in the district.

Riverside police are offering a reward for information about who called in an anonymous threat to the Park Hill South High School on Jan. 23.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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