The Children of Our Community and School Safety
The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, changed the thinking about student safety forever. A lone gunman had no real link to the school. He got into a facility with good security measures in place. His victims were young and randomly selected. It causes us to say “What if?”
School people worry about parents locked in custody battles, former employees looking for revenge, or a student trying to right an alleged wrong. Sandy Hook was truly senseless violence.
Nationally, debates about guns and mental health continue. Locally, we have to deal with student safety issues on two levels. One is checking our present safety procedures and making certain that they are as effective as possible. The other issue is discussing any new measures to implement in such a way that it does not bring greater anxiety to children, their parents, and our community.
Please know that we are keeping our doors locked, both outside and inside the schools, during the school day. We check out visitors before allowing them to enter. Our security camera systems at all Wawasee Schools have been totally upgraded in the past year. We have school safety committees at each building, have up-to-date emergency plans, and meet with local law enforcement officers. Wawasee, through the Kosciusko County Sheriff Department, has an onsite school resource officer. I assure you that we are taking school safety seriously.
Our future plans are not finalized yet. The state and federal governments are considering funding toward more school resource officers. We are monitoring those discussions. Wawasee is considering such things placing barriers to keep vehicles away from our exterior doors, expanding our security camera and lighting systems, and holding more training with law enforcement, emergency personnel, and school staff members.
Our security at Wawasee was good before the senseless acts in Connecticut. It’s better now.