Council, BOE Discuss School Safety

One idea that came about calls for more school resource officers.

 

Frederick, Md (KM). School safety was a topic of discussion Wednesday by the Frederick County Council, and the Board of Education.

Chief Operating Officer Paul Lebo with the school system told the two boards during their joint meeting that the school system works closely with local law enforcement to keep schools safe. In addition, staff members are trained in how to deal with all hazards. “We don’t want to focus on one particular area because that leaves us with some vulnerabilities,” says Lebo. “We have emergency plans in place at every one of our schools. And that is actually something that {School Superindent} Dr. {Theresa} Alban has to certify to the state on an annual basis so that those local emergency plans are updated on an annual basis.”

During the meeting, Board of Ed President Brad Young was asked about the installation of metal detectors in schools. He said local police agencies have recommended against that. “Our average high school has more than 50 outside doors that people come in and out of. If somebody’s meaning to do harm, they aren’t necessary going to walk through that metal detector.”

There were also recommendations discussed for adding more school resource officers. Board of Ed member April Miller said that issue was discussed recently by she and her colleagues. “We did some talk about increasing our SRO program. We were¬† just in some preliminary discussion. It was actually the night it happened,” she said. Miller was referring to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 12 people.

But no matter what happens, President Young said it’s impossible for the school system to guarantee the children will be safe, but all that’s humanly possible is being done.

He also said one of the school¬† system’s “worst enemy” is social media when it comes to keeping children safe. “Stuff that happens and how fast a rumor spreads. Somebody says something, and it’s all over the place,” he says. “From the standpoint of the school system, we have to take everyone of those seriously.”

The School System is planning two community meetings over the next few weeks. The first one will be held on April 15th at Governor Thomas Johnson High school. The second one will be at Catoctin High School on May `15th. A special guest will be a former principle of Columbine High School, which was the location of a mass shooting in 1999 which left 13 dead, and 21 injured.

 

By Kevin McManus