ALEDO, Ill. (KWQC) — The Mercer County school board approved a resolution to address armed individuals in schools on a 4-1 vote. The resolution encourages the Illinois Association of School Boards to lobby the Illinois General Assembly to make changes to current law that would allow, not require, local districts to determine who could be armed within their school buildings. Currently, only law enforcement officers are allowed, and many rural districts have concerns about police response times. Changes could include district employees or private armed security companies.
Original: After an unloaded gun was found a junior high school in Mercer County KWQC reached out to the Mercer County Superintendent, Scott Petrie to learn more about what was being done to address safety in their schools.
In December of 2017, Mercer County Schools completed it’s first ever Health Life Safety Survey. Based on the resulting requirements and recommendations they've begun replacing exterior and interior doors in several buildings, upgrading security cameras and replacing intercom systems, installing new handsets on classroom doors, adding secure entrances at all buildings, and a card access controls.
In addition to the physical changes beginning to take place, Mercer County schools recently reviewed their safety plans.
On April 9, the Board and administration met with local and county law enforcement to determine ways to establish a stronger presence in all district buildings. Random walkthroughs by law enforcement and canine searches also occur and are encouraged by the board.
"I’m certain that there will be ongoing discussions about other options for improving and maintaining student safety," concluded Superintendent Petrie.