JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s chief executive has signed an executive order forming a team tasked with developing a statewide strategic plan to improve school safety.
On Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-04 to create a Missouri School Safety Task Force during a school assembly at Blair Oaks High School.
“As a grandfather and as governor, I expect schools to be safe places from the time a student steps onto the bus in the morning, until he or she steps off in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I know from my time as a law enforcement officer that there are people in the world who seek to prey on those who are often unable to protect themselves,” Parson said. “As a state, we need to ensure we are providing the tools and guidance to help local education leaders make our schools as safe as possible.”
He directed Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe to lead the task force and work with the Department of Public Safety, Department of Mental Health, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri School Boards’ Association, the Center for Education Safety, and a school resource officer to develop a strategic statewide plan for school safety.
The task force will be meeting over the coming weeks and submit a report of its findings and recommendations by July 31, 2019. The task force will be studying the recently released Federal Commission on School Safety report from Missouri’s perspective to identify gaps, shortfalls, or suggested policy changes.
“I appreciate Governor Parson’s leadership on this important topic, and I look forward to working with experts like Paul Fennewald, Director Karsten, Commissioner Vandeven, Executive Director Randol, and others to help keep Missouri students safe,” Kehoe said. “We need input from local districts and local law enforcement, and we will be aggressively seeking these insights in the coming weeks.”
The full Executive Order can be found here.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.