School Safety Concerns

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Stateline parents are also questioning the physical conditions of local school buildings. 23 News reporter Lauren Kravets tells us how the Harlem School District is taking precautions, especially after an air-soft gun and real bullets were recently found at two different schools in the district.

"It's just really really scary."

April is still shocked by the massacre in Connecticut that killed 20 young children, especially since she has a six-year-old of her own.

"I was almost scared to death to let my kid go to school today."

Parents are also concerned about security measures within local schools, as not every classroom door has a lock.

The Harlem School District is trying to change that. As of this year, nearly all of their classrooms have at least a turn lock, but they're working on installing newer key locks.

But even if there's not a lock, Superintendent Dr. Julie Morris says “Each individual school has a plan of where they would go in case something would happen.. and they practice those, we have safety drills at least once a year."

On Friday, the same day as the Connecticut Shooting, a Maple Elementary student was found with an empty air-soft gun on the bus ride home. April's son goes to that school.

"It kind of freaked me out, was this kid in my classroom all day?"

Three days earlier, two bullets were found on the floor at Olson Park. A letter went home to parents.

"It's a very hypersensitive time because of what happened Friday so you work through it and you keep reminding people and children to leave those types of things at home,” April said.

The Harlem School District met with principals on Friday after the shooting, to go over their next steps, and security measures. There is currently a buzzer system at all elementary schools, and an armed resource officer at each secondary school.

We received a letter from a District 205 teacher, who is also concerned about a lack of locks on classroom doors there. The district is working on fixing the issue, under its ten-year facilities plan.


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