BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– A safe environment inside the school is a cornerstone to educating students. After an 18-year-old shooter killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and wounded 17 more, schools across the country are taking additional steps to protect kids.

Raleigh school officials told us they started taking proactive measures for school safety before the latest school shooting. They started in 1999 when two armed students killed 15 at Colorado’s Columbine High School. Then, when a gunman murdered 20 kindergarten and first-grade students at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, Raleigh schools started adding more security.

“From Sandy Hook on, the school system has really tried to be proactive,” said Director of Pupil Services Eric Dillon. “It’s not something some people want to talk about, but I do think as a system, as a parent in Raleigh County Schools as well I do think we have to address it.”

Dillon said the school is adding new security devices for the upcoming school year. He isn’t sharing specific information but said the new technology makes schools more secure. He added schools use the best practices available and students do Alice drills. The drills train them to respond in case of an active shooter inside their schools. Schools also have a PRO officer, an on-duty police officer who stays at the school.

A local principal said that school administrators do their part to keep students safe.

“In Raleigh County, I think we’re ahead of the curve on a lot of practices,” said Principal Yahon Smith at Beckley Stratton Middle School. “However, our number one goal and priority in Raleigh County Schools and at Beckley Stratton is to make sure that our kids come to school safe and return safe.”

Superintendent David Price said parents should watch for behavior changes in students. If they think a student needs help, they can reach out to the school. He added he wants every child to be safe.