Parents want solutions as school safety discussions continue

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - School should be a safe haven for learning, but for some students and their parents, it hasn't felt that way lately. Continued worry over safety at schools has students and their parents turning to district administrators to take action.

"It's scary every day. Sorry I get emotional. But you have to. You can't leave them home. They're so secluded at home and they have to have that confidence and pray every morning that they'll be safe," said Teresa Matt, a mother of a student in the Rockwood School District.

But recent threats against several local schools in the wake of the Parkland shooting in Florida is leading to serious discussions about safety at home and in the classroom.

"We're mostly safe at school and we shouldn't have to worry about it, but it could happen and we're doing more drills and stuff," said Akaria Owens, a freshman in Rockwood Summit High School.

Educators are trying to ease concerns while improving safety.

Leaders from Rockwood, Lindbergh, and Mehlville school districts met with law enforcement and a state representative on Friday to exchange ideas.

"We are collectively thinking and we're hearing from each other. It's crossing school district lines. It's crossing police municipality lines and we're hearing what important things are. Our overarching theme today and we can't stress enough is we need more police officers," said Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost.

Many made it clear they don't like the idea of arming teachers, but they do want to see more resources devoted to mental health.

While these threats of school violence are becoming all too familiar, most parents tell Fox 2 News they're reassured by how the district leaders are taking action.

"Every threat should be taken seriously. But every time someone makes a threat just to be funny or get a reaction but the first time you ignore that reaction it will be serious," said Matt.

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