WATCH: Area superintendents discuss school safety - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

WATCH: Area superintendents discuss school safety

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

KULR-8's Greg LaMotte hosted a special roundtable discussion with five district superintendents.

The topic was: How can we make our schools safer?

The superintendents were shown video of the "safest" school in the United States and asked if a security system like the one shown was economically feasible in our local schools.

SD2 Superintendent Terry Bouck said, "We don't quite frankly get enough money to do deferred maintenance so it is not realistic but potentially we could take some of the things they're doing and retrofit them into our buildings."

Elder Grove Superintendent Justin Klebe said, " for right now the way we fund schools... there's really no operating costs to do something like that. I would just piggyback terry... I do think as far as Eldergrove is concerned... we do some of those things that they already do but um... we can take some of the stuff they have there... the smoke bombs... the smoke that comes from the ceiling... we're talking about putting the fire extinguishers in every room... and doing some similar things within our budget... everything we can do to make it safer.  School District 2 I believe you guys have walkie talkies that are patched into the Billings police department... we're looking at walkie-talkies that the sheriff department can listen in and communicate with the school officials... that's something we're looking at for the future."

Superintendent Bouck also said, "Actually ours... we go live this month totally with all 32 schools and I can connect with any all, or individually vice versa... it's imperative that we're able to communicate and let people know what's happening... it's going to be connected in some way to police, it's going to be connected to first student and our warehouse etc... so it's important."

The superintendents also discussed arming teachers.

Laurel Superintendent, Linda Filpula, said, "We already have a Montana law in place that allows school districts to make determinations whether an employee can carry weapons. I think that really depends upon each school district. I know in Laurel we have two school resource officers who we've had for over 15 years. In our town, we have a police department right there that can be at each school within minutes that are trained in these types of situations. I'm not sure it's fair to put teachers in that position."

Superintendent Bouck said, "I think arming teachers is a huge decision for any district... I actually ran into one of our principals... or assistant principals whose actually with the reserves and active and I said, what do you think and he said absolutely not... he said don't suggest it. no."
Superintendent Klebe said, "I would piggyback on what Terry and Linda said... that's not a decision that a superintendent or anybody else should be making... it's a board decision and a community decision. Ultimately it's something that regardless of how we feel we make sure it's best for the community."

We also asked about hiring retired veterans to patrol the schools.

Lockwood Superintendent, Tobin Novasio, said, "To me, with the current conversation that's going on...  I think that is one of the best solutions I have heard as far as securing our schools... is making sure we are getting people who have the training... not arming our teachers but getting someone who is a veteran ... national guard... retired police officer... or active duty to be able to do that... but it comes back to what we started the conversation about... about where's that funding going to come from to put those people in place."

App users: For a full look at what each superintendent had to say and to join the conversation click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/KULR8News/videos/10155072141121433/

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