Kentucky school safety director announces support for Fayette County security plan

File - Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) - Executive Director of Kentucky's Center for School Safety Jon Akers says he is backing Fayette County's multi-faceted approach to making schools safer.

"Metal detectors, book bag checks, social media scanning, more counselors, more mental health people. Just go down that list that Fayette County's got and every single one of those are a help out to keep these kids," Akers said, "They will be answering those questions when and if something like this should happen, God forbid."

Akers was in Marshall County one week ago where school leaders have first-hand knowledge of deadly school shootings after two were killed at the county's high school in January.

"One of the quotes that they said was that you can't put a price tag on a child. So, if we can all kind of chip in together and make these things become a reality in our schools, they're willing to step up to the plate and do that," Akers says.

The safety director says one of the most important aspects of the Fayette County plan is how it will address social media, as school monitoring could help stifle threats.

"Years ago, 'It's 11 p.m., do you know where your kids are?' The older parents will smile when they hear that, but now my question is, do you know where your kids are are today in the cyber world?"

The security upgrades come with a multi-million dollar cost, and it will be passed on taxpayers. The average property owner will be paying more than $80 additional dollars in annual taxes if the school board passes the plan. Opponents would need to gather more than 13,000 signatures in less than two months to bring the tax measure to a vote.

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