While some high school students across the nation were walking out of class in the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida, Hermann High School students were sitting down and talking about school safety with a U.S. senator’s aide.
Justin Klocke (pronounced KLOCK-EE), a field representative for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, met last week with about 60 HHS students and staff for a general discussion on possible ways to improve school safety.
Klocke described the mood among federal legislators in the House and Senate in the wake of the shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, and some of the steps being discussed to improve the safety of schools.
Tightening gun regulations are among the items being discussed, he said, but the balancing of school safety and personal liberties regarding gun ownership has many people in a precarious position.
“A lot of folks across the country are at a crossroads,” he said.
The students talked about the proposal by some to arm teachers. There was discussion about the need for better mental illness treatment. There was discussion about having a law enforcement officer available on campus as a School Resource Officer (SRO). There was talk about metal detectors.
Klocke told the students he would take their comments back to McCaskill for her consideration as the Senate continues looking at ways to bolster school safety.
HHS Principal Gary Leimkuehler praised the students for their attentive approach to the meeting and for the questions they asked. He also emphasized that an important role they can play in the school-safety debate, and in other issues, is to become engaged voters when they turn 18. Several of the students at the assembly indicated they were of voting age when asked by the principal.