A state audit faults the education department for failing to gather the proper paperwork to comply with safe school initiatives.

State Auditor Susan Montee says the audit shouldn’t be misinterpreted as a claim that Missouri schools aren’t safe, but that there isn’t very good compliance with safe school requirements. The audit says violence prevention programs are insufficient and that too few schools have implemented anti-bullying policies in accordance with state law. It calls for strong safety procedures and better emergency management plans and drills.

Montee faults school districts for failing to comply with the paperwork required by new state safe schools initiatives. She also faults the state education department for lax monitoring of compliance.

Deputy Education Commissioner Bert Schulte says the department agrees reporting can be improved, but says the level of monitoring the audit suggests is necessary would be difficult to implement without more manpower. Schulte rejects the audit’s suggestion that safety isn’t a high priority, but understands that reporting procedures need to be shored up. He says schools remain some of the safest places in the state.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)