Corinth school leaders have heard suggestions from students, parents and teachers as the district moves toward new security measures.

A recent series of focus group meetings for each campus garnered feedback from the key stakeholders.

A wide variety of suggestions came to the table, such as having secret hall monitors, restricted access at entry points and teachers carrying weapons.

Employing school resource officers is one of the major items under consideration.

“I do think it’s positive just for kids to see a police officer in a better light than maybe they’ve seen outside of school,” said a teacher at the middle school focus group, and “I do think there’s that built-in security knowing they are on campus at all times if you needed them.”

The same teacher recommended, based on her experience in another school district, not to involve children in any active-shooter drills.

“It just terrified my kids instead of it being proactive,” she said. “As long as the teachers are trained where we can advise the students properly when it happens, I think that’s enough.”

Superintendent Lee Childress said that has been the consensus feeling of the school district, as well.

The question arose of whether the district might have teachers carry weapons. The district’s attorney, Bill Davis, said it is theoretically possible.

“The board of trustees would have authority to determine who could carry a weapon inside the private areas of the school building that is not accessible to the public,” he said, while noting that the state’s carry laws on the issue are fairly complicated.

Other suggestions included using scannable I.D. cards to open doors and using a messaging system to alert the front office or the student population of an issue.

Davis outlined the options the district can consider for security, including hiring its own school resource officers, contracting with the city or hiring a private security business.

Recommendations on school safety measures could go to the board of trustees in January.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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