From the Superintendent's Desk: Update on Safety and Security Precautions
From the Superintendent’s Desk
In view of the recent tragedy at a Florida high school, I wanted to address safety and security and active shooter precautions in the district. All staff members have been trained in ALICE by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. ALICE is an acronym which stands for…
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
ALICE creates time and space so people can survive an active shooter in a school. No code words are used; someone needs to get to an intercom to tell people what is going on…who, what, where and when…as much as is known. The main idea of ALICE is…don’t wait for people to come to you; get out of the building if you can.
ALICE training stresses that it is better to run if you have the time to do so. If a shooter is close, locking down may be the best option.
Many types of drills are held periodically throughout the year. Most of the drills conducted are state mandated, and the district adheres to the requirements. Here are the state requirements:
SCHOOL SAFETY DRILLS
· School safety drills shall be conducted at least three times during the school year to provide pupils with instruction in the procedures to follow in situations where pupils must be secured in the school building or rapidly evacuated in response to a threat to the school involving an act of terrorism; a person possessing a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance on school property; or other act of violence. (Ohio Revised Code 3737.73 (D)(1))
· Each school safety drill shall be conducted in conjunction with the police chief or other similar chief law enforcement officer or designee of the municipal corporation, township, or township or joint police district in which the school or institution is located. In the absence of such person, the county sheriff of the county, or designee, in which the school or institution is located. (Ohio Revised Code 3737.73 (D)(1))
· In addition to the three school safety drills, the principal or person in charge shall conduct a theoretical school safety drill at least once during the school year to provide faculty and staff employed by the school or institution with instruction in the procedures to follow in such situations. This drill does not need to include student participation and may be conducted at the annual training session required by the Revised Code. (Ohio Revised Code 3737.73 (D)(1)(b))
· All required school safety drills shall be conducted pursuant to the district’s or school’s emergency management plan adopted under Section 3313.536 of the Ohio Revised Code. (Ohio Revised Code 3737.73 (D)(1)(c))
It is possible that the number of building safety drills will be increased next year in the district. There is also a strong possibility that door barricades will be purchased for next year. For the longest time, the state prohibited the purchase of those items. Thankfully, the law has been relaxed in the past 12-18 months.
These situations are becoming far too frequent, and you are wise to think about and ask about planning in the district. Cecil Foley supervises Safety/Security in the district, and he and the principals attend workshops and conferences each year related to the topic.
We take very seriously the task of keeping students, staff and building visitors safe. From my February newsletter article, I repeat: Tell your children how important it is to tell someone if they EVER see or hear any threats being made…even if they think the person is not serious. Tell them to report it if they see anything threatening on social media. All tips and rumors are investigated, and administrators work very closely with law enforcement when these situations occur.
While we believe our staff and students are well trained, we desperately hope that we will NEVER have to use the ALICE training.
Please consider adding your email address to the “E Newsletter” link on the district’s homepage, and the newsletter will be emailed to you each month.
If you ever want to discuss academics, curriculum or any other aspect of the district, please contact me via telephone (937-845-3576) or email ([email protected]). Thank you for your continued cooperation and support!
By Norm Glismann, Superintendent
Tecumseh Local School District