ST. LOUIS, MO — School districts across the country, including St. Louis County, will be on high alert as students head back to class in the wake of the Florida tragedy. Officers from the St. Louis County Police Department will be keeping a close watch at schools Thursday. Area school leaders are speaking out as well.
Lieutenant Colonel Troy Doyle, the commander of special operations for St. Louis County Police, posted this tweet, "My prayers are with those affected by the horrific event that took place in Parkland. I have asked my staff to provide extra patrol around our area schools. Kids should feel safe at school. Breaks my heart."
Doctor Eric Knost, the Rockwood School District Superintendent sent a letter to families:
"While we take many measures to protect our students and staff on a daily basis, we know we can always look to do more. I want our staff, parents and community members to know that we will continue to do everything possible to heighten our efforts and awareness. I will never take chances with our students and staff, and I will always err on the side of being cautious."
Doctor Rhonda Key, the principal at Jennings High School,
says school staff members need to keep an eye out on campus for red flags including social media warning signs. Key says having open lines of communication with students through counseling is critical. Key also says it's also important that parents talk with their kids and have open dialogue at home about issues of concern.