Helena Public School's holds public forum to discuss safety strategies

Parent attendee of the forum
Posted at 9:28 AM, May 23, 2024

HELENA — Helena Public Schools (HPS) held a safety forum Wednesday evening to discuss strategies for protecting our local schools.

Parents, local law enforcement, and educators attended for an open conversation.

The public forum was held in Capital High School’s auditorium and featured national school safety expert Jason Russell.

Jason Russell

Russell is a former Secret Service agent and is the founder and president of Secure Environment Consultants.

He conducted safety audits on Helena and Capital High Schools, C.R. Anderson Middle School, and Smith Elementary School.

C.R. Anderson had a security incident in April, where a student brought a loaded gun onto school property.

It is important to note that this forum comes after voters rejected safety and security levies for the Helena Elementary and High School Districts.

Attendees listening to Russell

Russell said, “What I observed in this district is the district is doing the best they can with, quite frankly, an underfunded lack of resources, and I think that needs to change at some point.”

According to Russell, the ratio of mental health professionals per student should be one professional for 250 students, but HPS has one clinician for the school district.

His full audit report will be presented to the HPS Board of Trustees within the next few weeks.