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One year since Uvalde shooting: Bozeman School District reflects on school safety

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Posted at 11:01 AM, May 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-30 13:01:08-04

It’s been a little over one year, since the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 21 people were killed when a gunman entered an elementary school.

In Bozeman, a School Safety Levy recently passed, and the Superintendent and the School Resource Sergeant reflect on the tragedy and discuss the new safety levy.

“I would just say, law enforcement here is trained to go stop the threat, and that’s the first thing we’re going to do,” Sgt. Scott McCormick, Bozeman School Resource Sergeant said. “If somebody is barricaded in the classroom we’re still going to—we’re going to get through the door, and stop the threat, we’re not going to negotiate.”

Superintendent Casey Bertram spoke on what Bozeman School District does following school safety crises across the nation.

“There’s learning that occurs, we look at what happens across the country,” Bertram said. “Look at what we have in place and see if we need to make tweaks or changes in that.”

This past election—a safety levy for the Bozeman School District was passed, essentially taking the annual cost for school resource officers and counselors out of the school's 'general fund’ and into its own category.

“It’s a permanent levy—so an ongoing dedicated funding source for the cost of safety, so it doesn’t have to compete in the general fund for instruction, athletics/activities, music those other programs,” Bertram said.

Now, the safety levy has about $1.5 million, and it’s based on mills—so there’s potential for it to increase over time.

“I know we’re also looking at camera expansions within our elementary school…so having exterior and front entrance cameras,” Bertram said.

All of Bozeman’s middle and high schools have cameras in and outside.