From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Missouri schools may not receive federal terror prevention money

September 30, 2004
By: Travis Thompson
State Capital Bureau

Nearly a month after terrorists killed more than 300 people in a Russian school, Missouri's director of homeland security says the same situation could happen in Missouri. But, the state may not give schools federal money to counter the threat. Travis Thompson explains.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Pattonville school Superintendent Hugh Kinney says safety measures in his district near St. Louis are some of the most comprehensive in the state.

The district only allows entry into schools through the office doors.

Pattonville students are required to wear ID badges and they are always under the eye of security cameras.

Kinney says these measures help prevent situations like the one in Russia.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "I think with the security we have, it would've been difficult for a group of individuals to take over a school like that."

Patonville's security was part of a bond issue passed by voters.

But not all Missouri school districts are as secure.

And the state may not give schools any of the federal terror prevention money Missouri received this year.

Missouri Homeland Security Director Tim Daniel says schools are having a hard time agreeing on a single plan for the federal money.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "I want to spend some money but until we've found a way that is accepted by all the parties involved as being the best use of this money, I'm gonna have to take the wait and see attitude."

But, of the 42 million dollars the federal government gave to the state to spend on terror prevention, only 200 thousand remains.

Kinney says he was never contacted about how Patonville would like to spend the federal money.

He says other districts need the federal money.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "I don't think all school districts can do what we did right now because the funding is not there."

Russ Thompson is the associate director of the Missouri Center for Safe Schools. He says schools don't need federal money to combat terrorism.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "Schools need money to do things we want done. So, the more money that's available to schools, the safer they can be. But there's a lot of things schools can do without money to make themselves safer."

If elected, Missouri gubernatorial candidtate Claire McCaskill and Matt Blunt's campaigns both say they'll work to make schools safer.

But neither candidate will commit to spending federal terror prevention money on schools.

Kinney says terrorism is only one issue schools need to focus on.

Actuality:
RunTime:
OutCue:
Contents: "If you just come up with a terror plan you're going to miss some things in terms of student issues and other parental kinds of issues."

And schools are only one of many issues the state has to consider.

Daniel says his first priority for spending the federal terror prevention money is not schools...it's making police and fire communication systems better integrated.

From the state Capital, I'm Travis Thompson.