There were a number of subjects on the Hannibal School Board agenda Wednesday night, but there was one item the parents in attendance were interested in — safety and security.
The final meeting of the year had high attendance from school officials and light attendance from parents. About seven parents attended the meeting, and all said they were disappointed in the low turnout.
Board members gave their thoughts and parents asked questions.
But the biggest talk came up when parent Max Capp suggested a full mock shooting for students, teachers, parents, administrators and law enforcement to participate in.
"I think it would be a very beneficial idea to have law enforcement with all categories: state patrol, sheriff's department and police involved on an active drill with the kids so they have some kind of protocol that maybe these kids can follow if something actually did go down," Capp said.
With that said, board members and administrators gave their responses.
"We met with the police department (Tuesday) and we're having ongoing discussions," Hannibal Superintendent Jill Janes said. "We're going to follow their lead as to what they feel is best for the school district and the community. Know these discussions are happening."
Of all the thoughts shared by board members, the one that grabbed the most attention in the room was shared by Michael Holliday. He not only spoke as member of the school board, but as a parent and someone who has been through the Hannibal public school system.
"I look out at who's in here and I see people that I've known for years that I've graduated with, teachers that have taught me. I want you to look at the people on this board. There's not one person up here that hasn't either taught in the schools, had children in the schools, at this point some have grandchildren in these schools. We're going to make sure everything's done as much as we can, but we can't sit here and tell you that we're in a position that we're going to do active shooter drills involving children," Holliday said. "We'll take our lead from the police and we'll communicate and we'll make sure we communicate with the public. The one thing I would encourage all parents out there to do is — we need communication with everyone. If you have a student in the schools and they say there's maybe somebody that's had some problems, and they tell you about that, tell the schools. It's a communication that goes with everybody."
Janes added, "I think the more parents we can get involved, the better."
Sarah Hathaway, who has a 9-year-old daughter at Oakwood Elementary, got emotional when she addressed the board. To her a full mock drill would be too much.
Page 2 of 2 - "My daughter just told me last night that they had an intruder drill, and she was gone that day because she was sick, but an active shooter drill where there's police and people running around, I think that would be scary," she said wiping away tears. "I don't want her to be scared. I would've kept her from the news if I could, but she already knew about it."