By Senator Howard Marklein
June 14, 2018
School Safety Grants Awarded To Our Schools
Three schools from the 17th Senate District received significant awards during the first batch of School Safety Grants that were awarded on June 13, 2018. The Benton, Mauston and River Ridge school districts were part of the initial roll-out of these important grants. Twenty (20) schools were awarded $1,382,045 on June 13th. The deadline for applications was June 8, 2018. Additional grants will be announced in the near future.
The Benton School District received $57,975 to install new handles on 40 classroom doors that allow teachers to lock the door immediately from inside the classroom. They will also be adding a film to the main entrance and office windows to make them shatterproof.
The Mauston School District received $188,275 to install shatter resistant glass on windows and entrance doors on all seven schools; to install shatter resistant film to secure entryways at Grayside Elementary School and Olson Middle School; entryway reconstruction at all three schools; security software and signage upgrades; barricading devices; medical trauma kits for the classrooms and handheld radios. They will also be conducting A.L.I.C.E. Online Training to complement the training they have already received.
The River Ridge School District received $55,000 to install shatterproof film on windows and doors for the front entrance and exterior entry doors; 80 dead-bolt locks for all interior doors; 10 two-way radios; 60 trauma kits; eight additional security (video) cameras; four perimeter fence exiting gates; film for the sidelights of our interior classroom doors; window markings; and four public access medical trauma stations to be located with existing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
We should all be proud of the school district leaders and local law enforcement in our communities who are committed to the safety of our kids. These innovative ideas and improvements will continue our strong effort to protect our kids and send a loud message to anyone who is thinking about terrorizing our schools. We will not tolerate violence and we will protect our children.
Dr. Christine Weymouth, Superintendent of the Mauston School District spoke at the grant announcement and she highlighted the community partnerships that have responded to the call to action. “Together with our talented local law enforcement partners we will take the steps necessary to strengthen our schools, eliminate unsafe conditions and apply barriers that keep violence and danger away from teaching and learning.”
Many of the schools in the 17th Senate District already have security plans, technology, equipment and policies that are working well to protect our kids. Early this spring, I reached out to all 34 school districts to seek their input as we were building the School Safety package to understand what they are already doing and what they need for the future. I am impressed by the things they are already doing, including locked-door procedures, school leaders in the hallways and a deliberate effort to connect with every student so that faculty and administrators have a better chance of catching issues before they escalate.
Our schools are doing a great job and these School Safety Grants are meant to encourage and invest more into this effort. The grants are deliberately flexible so that each school can apply them in their own unique way. Each of our communities is different and our local school leaders know what they need. Simply put – we want our kids and teachers to be safe while they learn and teach and we want to give our schools the support they need to provide a safe environment.
I have asked all of the schools in the 17th Senate District to share their grant applications with me and I am lending my support to their projects. I will continue to work with the 34 school districts in the 17th Senate District and the Attorney General’s office to advocate for their safety. I am proud of Benton, Mauston and River Ridge for their inclusion in the early awards and look forward to additional schools receiving awards very soon.
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov. Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.