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Kansas GOP Candidate for Governor Unveils School Safety Policy

WICHITA, Kan. (KNS/KMUW) – The Kansas Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, proposed new school safety policies this week, while campaigning in Wichita.

If elected, Schmidt says he hopes to increase funding for school resource officers, or SROs, at middle and high schools. Proponents of more SROs say they make schools safer. But critics say they reinforce the school-to-prison pipeline, especially for students of color.

Schmidt says the state should also double the annual funding for its school safety grant program, from $5 million to $10 million.

Schmidt’s proposals come after a school resource officer at Olathe East High School was shot by a student and returned fire in the spring.

The Kansas News Service reports that Wichita schools have also had multiple safety problems since students returned in August, including at least five confiscated firearms. That led district leaders to put weapon screening devices at all Wichita high schools.