The issue of school safety has been on the minds of some families and officials in the Mankato Metro after last weeks shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.

ISD77 Superintendent Sheri Allen says she has received phone calls from concerned residents following the incident that killed 17 students and faculty.

“Unfortunately, the times are where they’re at. We need to continue to work to keep our schools as safe as possible. I can’t imagine that school community and the tragedy. You know, our students are amazing, they have great voices and perspectives. We continue to work hard to look at safety.”

ISD 77 Superintendent, Sheri Allen.

While fire and tornado drills have been standard for many years, lockdown and active shooter drills are now standard in the Mankato District. School officials work closely with the Safety Center at the Minnesota Department of Education and local departments to stay up to date.

“We have emergency teams that have training and our buildings that are responsible for feedback. Asking staff, parents, students, whatever we need to do as we’re doing that. We are constantly working through that safety.”

While a number of ideas have been put out there on how to combat school shootings, even potentially arming teaches, Allen says she feels the conversation is much bigger than a school.

“I think it’s a symptom of what we’re dealing with day in and day out. For the mental health and wellness of people. So, I look at ways at how do you be preventive in that, what the work communities can do and then legislatively, what’s going to happen around some of the pieces that create the largest dangers in our communities.”

Public Safety Liaison Officers involved in the school district are armed, providing safety and a chance to build relationships with students.

Allen adds they also recently analyzed the secured entrances to each school in the district.

“Really working on an entrance that students are moving from one building to another and how do we secure that differently, which actually that project started already this last week. It’s just going to help with our security.”