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School Takes Different Path to Safety

April 9, 1996
By: Brian Higgins
State Capital Bureau

Are schools in Missouri becoming more violent? Many in the state government seem to think so. In addition to various bills in both the House and Senate, Governor Mel Carnahan has also proposed a safe schools initiative. However, in the case of one city high school in St. Louis, the notion of more violence in schools is not true. K-B-I-A's Brian Higgins has the story.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Various schools around the country have seen violence on the school grounds. High schools in Missouri are no exception. Often, it is the schools in big cities that have the most problems. Roosevelt High School in central St. Louis city has had its' problems. Stanley Stokes is a security officer for the St. Louis Public School System and works at Roosevelt High. He remembers one incident vividly.

Actuality:Stanley Stokes
RunTime: 35 sx
OutCue: in his pocket.
Contents: Stanley tells of a time when one student brought a weapon to school. The student had flashed the weapon at other students. These students alerted Stanley of what happened. Once the student's identity was secured, Stanley, three other security officers, and an administrator went to the student's class and took him out of the room. When asked if he had a weapon the student denied he did. However, security found a loaded weapon in his pocket.

However, this occurred over three years ago and since that time no other weapons have been seen at Roosevelt High. That's because the school took measures to become safer. But they're not the kind of steps proposed in the state government. Over two years ago metal detectors were installed. This year, while Roosevelt was being renovated, it entered a new program that placed video surveillance cameras throughout the school. Thomas Daly, Roosevelt's principal, says these measures have helped.

Actuality:Principal Daly
RunTime: 22 sx
OutCue: into the building.
Contents: Principal Daly says that with the installation of metal detectors and video cameras there have been no attempts to bring a weapon on campus in the past two years

Security officers, metal detectors, and video cameras are not the only safety precautions taken by Roosevelt High School. The school also has time delayed locks on the exits which prevents people from immediately leaving the building. Students like Guadalupe don't seem to mind all the security.

Actuality:Guadalupe
RunTime: 12 sx
OutCue: thing their here.
Contents: Guadalupe says the security is an inconvenience but it works and it is a good thing.

Donald is another student at Roosevelt High.

Actuality:Donald
RunTime: 13 sx
OutCue: problems with it.
Contents: Donald says the metal detectors are to his benefit. Without them there would be more problems and it would be easier for weapons to brought into the building.

Katherine Williams has been a physical education teacher at Roosevelt for 25 years. She feels the safety measures taken by Roosevelt are okay, but there are other things that can be done.

Actuality:Katherine Williams
RunTime: 45 sx
OutCue: sort of rule.
Contents: Katherine says the head of the school must institute rules that will be carried out and frighten kids. If students are not afraid of being disciplined then they will not obey the rules.

The safety measures adopted by Roosevelt High School are different than those suggested by the Governor and those in the state legislature. But while the use of such devices as metal detectors and video cameras may seem extreme students say they are effective. Students, teachers, and administrators at Roosevelt High School say they no longer feel threatened by violence on school grounds. Reporting for K-B-I-A, I'm Brian Higgins.