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QC private schools reflect on security after Nashville shooting

There are a handful of private schools in the Quad Cities, and the way that they handle security is often a bit different than their public counterparts.

MOLINE, Ill. — School safety is at the nation's center of attention, again, following the shooting deaths of three 9-year-old students and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, and similar institutions in the Quad Cities assessing their security policies to keep the tragedy from repeating here.

One of those schools is Seton Catholic School in Moline, a small 450-student school whose everyday flow is different than most others.

The school has three different buildings that students access, which leads to plenty of moving parts and points of entry — the first critical point of their security strategy.

Every exterior door to every building is locked at all times, and can only be opened by staff members with a key card.

Classroom doors are also locked throughout the day, and a plethora of security cameras constantly monitor inside and outside the building.

Every year, the school trains with the Moline Police Department to stay prepared for active shooter situations.

Where private schools most differ from public schools in their security is in funding — all their security measures are funded privately, and not by the state and federal government.

According to Seton Catholic president Jane Barrett, the school's recent security upgrade cost $225,000 and greatly overhauled safety procedures.

"Actually, three years ago, we did a capital campaign," she said. "And the first thing on the capital campaign was renovating the current elementary building, and the lead part of that was for the security aspect of the whole thing that cameras were installed, all doors were locked, and that we now have like an entrance, a lobby way that also has a door. That's a barrier between coming into the building and entering the main office or entering the main part of the school building."

She added that the Tennessee attack made Seton Catholic staff step back and ask themselves if they're doing everything they can to keep their students safe.

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