Roanoke city school district shares new efforts to keep kids safe

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke city school district's chief of security briefed city council about new school safety details.

As the school district's chief of Security, Chris Perkins shared how the district is taking a more layered approach to keeping kids from danger.

"Kids listen to adults and adults get kids to safety," said Perkins. "I know that is very simple and boiling it down, but if we can accomplish that then we can make sure our children are safe."

Perkins says they've improved several areas to protect kids like providing safety training for substitute teachers, beefing up security technology, and even changing classroom doors to lock from the inside.

During an upcoming professional development day, teachers and staff will participate in an active shooter drill. Multiple agencies will be involved, like the district's counseling department. Along with the practice of drills, the chief recognizes a real difference can be made in the culture and ensure students get the services they need.

"Having counselors and social works at our school are very important to the safety and security of our schools, "said Perkins.

School staff says they are committed to this priority. "We are working really hard to make sure every school in Roanoke city has that positive school culture and we are working to become a trauma-informed school division," said Taisha Steele, Director of School Counseling for Roanoke City Schools.