Nation’s School Systems Beef Up Security Follow Fatal Mass Shooting At Texas School

Board of Ed President Brad Young says Frederick County has security measures in place.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – School systems around the country are beefing up security following Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school which left 19 students and two adults dead.

Frederick County Board of Education President Brad Young says the local public school system has security measure in place, including school resource officers who have been assigned to local schools. “The best way that you can generally avoid these things is to be tipped off to something that may happen, and that’s through having an officer embedded in the school,” says Young. “So when somebody sees something that isn’t normal, they feel comfortable going to that officer and share it so it can be investigated.”

On Tuesday, a man, identified as Salvador Ramos, 18,  entered  Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and fatally shot 19 students and two adults. Authorities say Ramos was shot and killed by police.

Young says security policies at Frederick County Public Schools require visitors to undergo certain procedures before they enter any classroom building. “To make sure that any building you enter in, you have to go into a check-in zone before you go into the general school building,” he says.

Along with that, Young says staff and students are trained¬† in what to do in case of a shooting or other incident inside the school. “We do the avoid, deny, defend,¬† training with students and staff to try to tell them what to do in the event that something were to happen,” he says.

During any mass shooting at schools, the question comes up whether teachers and other staff should be armed. “Teachers have immense responsibilities in their classrooms and with what they’re doing. And to have a gun on a teacher that has many other distractions I’m not sure is the best solution. I’m certainly always willing to talk about that more,”: Young said.

In 2017, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said a student at Catoctin High School was planning a mass shooting at her  school. Deputies removed Nichole Cervario, 18, of Thurmont, from her classroom. Investigators say they were alerted by Cervario’s father who told the school which passed that information along to the Sheriff’s Office. She had purchased a rifle and materials used for explosive devices. In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office said Ms. Cervario “posed a threat not only to her school, but herself.”

“Parents and folks:  if you have something or see something that is of concern in any way, share it,” Young asks . “It’s better to investigate it and find out that somebody was just joking around. or whatever   it would be than to ignore it and have something happen.”

Young was a guest Wednesday on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.”

By Kevin McManus