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Ideas Emerge From St. Charles Task Force On School Shootings

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KMOX) - If a shooter walks into a school, help could be on the way with the push of a button.

That is one of the more intriguing ideas a special panel put together by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has been discussing in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Task force chair Bernard Dubray, superintendent of Ft. Zumwalt schools, says law enforcers taking part in the meetings brought up the possibility of installing “Panic Buttons” in each school which would connect directly to local police dispatchers.

Regardless of whether that idea is eventually approved, Dubray says it’s been a worthwhile effort.

“It really has brought out some of the mental health issues that we wanted to hear about, first-aid program they want to give, there’s really some things we weren’t aware of that we can take advantage of in our county,” he said. “So that was the most important thing that I think we’ve done thus far.”

Discussed early on, and almost immediately dismissed, was the idea of allowing teachers to carry handguns.

“First of all, the police have to go through months and months of training as to how to handle their adrenaline that’s flowing through their veins when it comes down to a you-or-them type of situation,” Dubray said.

He says if there’s even a shred of a silver lining to the tragedy at Sandy Hook, it is that students in St. Charles County and across the country can feel safer going forward.

“It has to be seen as a tipping point. It’s the most tragic I can think of when someone goes into an elementary school and all these little kids were killed in this manner. This has gotten peoples’ attention like never before.”

The task force will assemble a final report to present to the St. Charles County Council this June.

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