In several weeks, voters in the Topeka school district 501 will check “Yes” or “No” for a $143 million bond.
That money would go toward improvements in the schools including security.
“Had I had a button i could have pushed I could have stopped the gentleman before he made it in the building because he looked suspicious.”
Maria Rodriguez, is a school secretary at Linn Education Center.
2 years ago she came face to face with a man who was on the run and wanted for murder, who got through the front door of the building.
Mass shootings around the nation and security breaches are pushing the proposal of an $142.6 million bond that would go toward a number of improvements.
Most of all, it would go to making your children safer.
Director of USD 501 security, Ron Brown says this bond will help.
“Approximately 43 million dollars of the total bond will be utilized for safety and security of students in our schools.”
A few things the money would improve?
New security cameras, brighter lights around schools, key less entry for employees, bullet resistant glass in entry ways and silent alarms. Which Brown says are all improvements some schools will get.
“As I often tell our parents we can make your children safer we can’t make them safe. We do the very best to give for the safety of the students and the staff and these things will help us in that regard.”
If approved and the state agrees to pay at least 44 percent of the bond, it will cost tax payers nothing.
If the state doesn’t help, for a home worth 100 thousand dollars, it would be an increase of 63 dollars a year for 30 years.
Brown says, with thirty schools in the district not all will get the same improvements.
They’ve already started installing new cameras to schools. Brown says, this bond will help speed things up district-wide.
“Hopefully within the next two years, we’ll be able to have the same safety and security in all of our schools that we have in only a few now”
With all the cameras and bullet proof glass, Brown says, the most important thing is helping people feel welcome in the schools.
“We don’t want it to appear to be a prison setting, but in the same respect we have a responsibility to protect those children and to protect the staffs that teach those children.”
Rodriguez says, ultimately it’s a change needed with the times.
“It’s important to protect the kids, look at the news today, the only thing you can do is be as prepared as possible.”