We were saddened this week to learn of another incidence of violence inside a school building. Each time an incident of this nature occurs, we try to remember that each event is different and that this is not “just another” school shooting or violent act. To assume that all of these tragedies are the same risks complacency, when instead we should be vigilant. As educators – and as parents ourselves – we look to learn from each incident.
At Little Miami, we continuously assess the safety of our learning environments. We are committed to increasing and updating our security measures across the district in financially responsible ways. In fact, back in January, Little Miami hosted several local and county law enforcement officers and fire and EMS personnel for a tabletop training exercise. The exercise, which happened on a regularly scheduled school holiday, dealt with school violence and was led by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This exercise helped our district staff be further prepared should a violent act occur on our school grounds, and also helped build crucial relationships with our law enforcement and emergency services personnel, whom we would call on for help.
In addition to this training, we were pleased to learn that Little Miami has been awarded $30,000 in School Security Program grant monies from the state of Ohio. We plan to use the funds to further upgrade security measures, including more cameras, intercoms and entry systems, at all district buildings. Because these grant monies are capital bond dollars, they cannot be used to pay for any operating expenses or personnel.
Even with these high-tech measures, our security efforts rely heavily on the eyes and ears of our students, parents and staff. If you should have an immediate concern about security in a particular building, please report it to the building’s principal. We believe in the “see something, say something” motto when working to provide safe learning environments.
In closing, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of those affected by the incident in Pennsylvania. We firmly believe that every student should feel safe in his or her school and we would dare to hope this would be the final time such a tragedy would occur.