JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The McComb school system is looking at switching to uniforms as a way to address security issues.
Meanwhile, Pearl River County is doing a security evaluation at its schools.
Officials at both school systems say the steps are a response, in part, to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.
The Enterprise-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/WJ1fOH) that McComb High School principal Robert Lamkin told school board members this week that student uniforms will help maintain security at the campus.
"Our kids dress like the community," he said. "With such an open campus, it's hard to determine who's a student and who's not. We could be put in a very bad situation. We spend a lot of time with security."
Officials said other schools in the district have had uniform policies for at least 10 years.
School board member Bettye Nunnery, whose grandchild is entering high school, said kids look forward to leaving junior high and uniforms behind them in favor of their own clothes.
Lamkin said some people may be looking for trouble as they cruise around the campus. Some even come onto school grounds, he said, and such visits could be drug- or weapon-related.
"We just don't know," he said.
Lamkin said uniforms at the high school means students will be dressed alike and will have "a sense of belonging."
He plans to talk with parents, students, teachers and community leaders about the uniform idea.
In Pearl River County, schools Superintendent Alan Lumpkin tells the Picayune Item (http://bit.ly/XMVczf) that campus police chief Brandon Herrin is leading a review of school "lock down procedures."
Lumpkin said the review will bring recommendations to improve security on the school system's three campuses at McNeill, Carriere and Burgetown communities.
"We should all know what to do in case of any security emergency situation," Lumpkin said.
He said that door locks at the elementary schools in McNeill were being fixed so that they can be locked from the inside with the push of a button by administrators and personnel at the schools.
He said that way the doors and the school could be locked down immediately in case of any problems. Currently, they have to be locked with a key from the outside.
All three campuses are patrolled by armed campus police.
Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com ; Picayune Item, http://www.picayuneitem.com