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Columbia Board of Education receives security update after Uvalde shooting

Watch the meeting replay on security and the budget in the player below.


The Columbia Board of Education heard from the Columbia Public Schools Director of Safety and Security about how the district has updated its security over the past four years during Monday night's meeting.

The meeting comes after several mass shootings nationwide, with one of the deadliest happenings inside a school in Uvalde, Texas, leaving 19 children and two teachers dead. The tragedy has led to a nationwide examination of security in schools.

John White, the Columbia Public Schools Director of Safety and Security, gave a presentation of district safety and security. According to a PowerPoint presentation posted with the meeting agenda, the talk focused on improvements since 2018.

Prior to 2018 the district had much fewer security measures in place. All school building doors were unlocked and there was only one person on the safety and security team. After the Parkland school shooting in 2018, White, said the district has worked to keep students and staff safe.

Columbia Public Schools security measures in 2018:

  • Proximity card readers in 19 buildings
  • 3 DVR upgrades
  • Security film on windows in 15 buildings
  • New network security and cameras
  • Police and school resource officers

Columbia Public Schools security measures in 2022:

  • Six buildings still need proximity card readers
  • DVR upgrade including remote access viewing capability
  • All buildings have security film over windows
  • Buzz-in entry for building access
  • Network security and 1,300 cameras
  • 2 school resource officers
  • 5 building safety and security assistants

In the future, the district is working to strengthen its communication system. The district currently has 1000 two-way radios throughout its buildings and will continue to add more. The district will be adding two more school resource officers in the near future. Security continues to look for any weaknesses in safety throughout the district and address them.

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Kennedy Miller

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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