Yuma school districts' ever-evolving security measures - 13 On Your Side's Arlette Yousif reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Another school shooting raises major questions about how secure our schools are here at home. Violent attacks at schools are sadly all too common, but it’s a fight school officials refuse to lose.
Just last week there was a gun scare at Centennial Middle School in Yuma. Police say that turned out to be a BB gun found on a homeless man. But Yuma school districts say they're still on alert.
"Security and safety of our students, that’s always something that’s uppermost in all schools minds. And I think that the, unfortunately, just because of where we are in society, that’s just something that we have to be aware of and prepare for. So I think that’s the key… is preparation," says Yuma County School Superintendent Tom Tyree.
Preparation and surveillance systems are key elements in keeping students and faculty safe.
"Anything that might come along that’s new interns of technology, cameras, traditional training… all those things we’re always looking to try to implement," explains Tyree.
Funding from the elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund (ESSER), as well as state and federal grants, are available to schools in Yuma County, allowing for more supervision on school grounds and continued training.
Most recently, Crane School District received more than $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of that funding can go towards security, but we're not sure how much.
"It’s a continuing ongoing process to make sure that we train our staffs and make our students aware of what the procedures should be that they follow in case that event occurs on a school," says Tyree.
One local parent says preventative measures are important.
"Bullying should definitely be addressed. You know, no kid should get tortured at school… like beat up or whatever, but at the same time, they should also have some sort of communication. Start it young, you know," explains local parent Juan Rivera.
In addition to academics, educating students on what to look out for and reporting suspicious and dangerous activity are major contributions to help keep everyone safe.