On the same day St. James school staff participated in active shooter training, a school shooting occurred in Sparks, Nev., which resulted in the deaths of a school teacher and the 12-year-old shooter.

On the same day St. James school staff participated in active shooter training, a school shooting occurred in Sparks, Nev., which resulted in the deaths of a school teacher and the 12-year-old shooter.
"It was eerie, that's for sure," said St. James R-1 Schools Superintendent Joy Tucker. "You wonder if you need to do these things, and that was my sign. We need to keep our students safe, first and foremost, and that was what I needed to be doing."
Tucker wrote in her recent column that the training was held during a professional development day. With students out for the day, teachers were able to learn with the help of area law enforcement.
Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse said the active shooter training involves classroom training and active scenarios involving an intruder on campus.
"They run through scenarios and show them firsthand what to do," said Kearse, who along with the St. James Police Department was involved with the training.
"Mentally disturbed people with those types of problems can come anywhere, and people need to be prepared. You need to have a plan in place – I don't care what size town you are."
Tucker said the day was successful in a lot of ways.
"The drills allow the district to evaluate the current response plan for active shooter scenarios, teach faculty, staff and officers how to handle a live shooter situation in a school," Tucker wrote in her column. "This intense training is both effective and necessary in today's increasingly dangerous world."
As for further school security measures, interviews are underway to hire a school resource officer (SRO). The district and the City of St. James are working together to hire an SRO, which is a commissioned police officer who will work exclusively within the school system.
St. James Police Chief Ron Jones said the new SRO will be a St. James police officer, but his or her primary duties will be school-related, only filling in with the department while officers are on vacation and during extended school vacation periods.
Once a candidate is selected, he or she will be brought before the school board for final approval.
Tucker hopes to have someone in place by December.