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Kenosha Unified School District cashes in on Wisconsin's school safety grant

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-02 12:36:33-04

KENOSHA -- The first school in the state cashes in on the $100 million school safety grant. Kenosha Unified School District will have nearly $900,000 worth of security updates this fall. 

Kristen Meyers learned Friday there will be several upgrades to keep her daughter safer when she returns for the new school year. 

"I think it's a wonderful thing, I think obviously that we even have to worry about this is a bad thing," Meyers said. 

School security is a nearly inevitable concern for parents across the country after recent mass shootings in Parkland, Florida and Houston. 

"I should be able to feel comfortable that my children go to school and are protected," said parent Alyssa Slater.  

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel signed the first school safety grant to Kenosha Schools on Friday morning. He said hundreds will soon follow. 

"We're making (schools) less vulnerable and less attractive targets physically," he said.  

The grant allows KUSD to provide mental health training, blue flashing lights and gunshot detectors in every building in case of an intruder. Currently, anyone who tries to get inside a Kenosha school building first has to get buzzed in. Once they're inside they're seen on surveillance cameras. Starting this fall, shatter proof film will cover the glass doors at every entrance. 

"This is not a one-size fits all solution," Schimel said.  

The school safety grant doesn't allow schools to hire more security officers as it's a recurring cost. Yet Schimel doubled down on one controversial alternative, saying he still supports arming teachers.

"My position on that is, I think it should be a local school district decision," Schimel said. 

Gov. Scott Walker nixed the idea earlier this year. But Schimel says it's not necessarily dead. 

"Well actually right now under current law, it is a possibility for school districts to consider now," he said.

Schimel said it would only be for teachers who want to be armed, and the training would be provided for free through his office. 

School districts have until June 8 to submit their grant applications. So far, more than 40 have been accepted.