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Recent scares prompt concerns for school safety funding

WSIL — After a recent rash of scares at local schools, administrators want more money to beef up security. 

In the past week, four area schools have had incidents involving threats or students being removed from campus. 

News 3 told you a story Wednesday night about Marshall County High School in Kentucky receiving a safety grant

The money was used for metal detectors, resource officers and security cameras. 

Other superintendents are struggling to come up with a plan to make their schools safer while not cutting into their budget. 

Superintendent of Frankfort Community Unit School District Matt Donkin is worried about what is the new normal. 

"We just expect to hear these things more often," Donkin said. "We have told students, if you hear something, say something." 

The school district released a statement on Friday regarding an incident that involved removing a student

"We investigated it, looked into it and made a determination that the student had nothing on campus and the threats were not made toward anything in our school district," Donkin said. 

Frankfort Community Unit School District was one of four incidents at schools in our area in the past week. 

Mt. Vernon Police received reports on Friday of an armed student making threats at Casey Junior High. 

Regional Superintendent Lori LeQuatte said Project ECHO Alternative School had a threat on Monday. 

Paducah Police said two juveniles face terroristic charges after posting school threats on social media once last week and another on Monday.

No one was hurt at any of these schools. 

"There’s not one solid fix and I don’t think there ever will be on something like this," Donkin said. 

Psychologist Dr. Naeem Qureshi said most of his patients who are children are dealing with bullying at school. 

"I think we are seeing more because we have a more violent society," Qureshi said. "These kids start punishing themselves and start having a negative feeling about themselves."

Dr. Qureshi recommends all parents get to know their kid, pay attention to differences and make sure to resolve any issues. 

For school leaders like Donkin, their concern is how to pay for safety measures like metal detectors and more resource officers, so they can avoid tragedy.

"But figuring out how to sustain these efforts and fund these efforts, that’s where the challenge is for all of us," Donkin said. 

During Friday’s incident at Frankfort Community High School, a new hired resource officer removed the student from campus. 

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R- Illinois, wants area schools to apply for a new federal school safety grant. 

Donkin said he plans for his district to apply. 

News 3

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