Joint Task Force For School Safety

As a reminder, for the past year or so my husband and I have been trying to get our school district to take proactive measures to help protect the children who attend schools here. We are not people who believe it is possible to fully, 100%, guarantee anyone’s safety. It is possible that even with good solid plans in place and even if those plans are properly implemented, that harm could come to one of our children while in the care of the school. Life is a risk and we accept that, however, we also believe there are ways to up the odds in favor of preventing or limiting harm from anyone trying to commit a violent criminal act.

We have mostly received the polite smile and pat on the head treatment. After the events in Connecticut I wrote to the principal of our little one’s school and stated again that I hoped those in charge were not using the fingers crossed and hope nothing bad happens here approach. I informed them that if they did nothing more and something did happen here, it would not go unnoticed by me. I, once again, offered them a wide variety of resources to consult.

I do not think my meetings, phone calls, emails or strongly worded letters made a bit of difference, but I did receive a mass email that gave me hope they were listening to someone if not me. I see a lot of very positive statements.

JOINT TASK FORCE SETS SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM GOALS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURES

The newly formed Joint Task Force, under the direction of the XXX Sheriff, School Superintendent, and County Administrator, met again on December 31, 2012, to debrief on recent school assessments by the Sheriff’s Office and to enhance and strengthen current safety and crisis plan implementation, which included immediate, short-term and long-term safety measures.

During the winter break, all elementary schools were assessed by the Sheriff’s Office and School Staff. This assessment provided valuable information that will be used as the Task Force moves forward with enhancing safety measures at school buildings. When students and staff return to school on January 2, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office will continue an enhanced presence at the Elementary schools and School Resource Officers will continue to be on site in the Middle and High schools. Staff assignments specific to monitoring grounds and buildings will be in place at all elementary schools. Increased communications measures will be in place. Additionally, enhanced staff training provided by the Sheriff’s Office will begin this week.

The Task Force is also working to develop a volunteer program that will enable citizens and parents to help monitor grounds and buildings and provide additional eyes and ears at the schools. More details are forthcoming.

Other items discussed included County and School staff partnering to explore potential grant opportunities that might assist in securing additional funding for the safety enhancements recommended by the Task Force and to provide additional school staff training in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office and first responders such as fire and rescue.

Members of the Joint Task Force include Dr. XXX XXX, XXX School Superintendent, Sheriff XXX, and XXX, XXX County Administrator, as well as staff from each entity including fire and rescue and principals. The purpose of the Joint Task Force is to streamline communications between entities and create efficiencies in the review, development, and implementation of safety measures. The group will meet on an ongoing basis to discuss the progress of school safety enhancements. The next Joint Task Force meeting is planned for early January.

We shall see what, if any action actually comes from this.

14 thoughts on “Joint Task Force For School Safety

  1. It sounds like someone is listening, now let’s see if they follow through with a plan that will work. Hopefully, the school system will drop all the politics and consider safety first.

    • I really do believe the teachers and administration care. My kids have excellent teachers and the truth is money is a real issue. I don’t expect a major overhaul, but there is much they can do for little to no cost at all to improve things.

      I may be naive, but I think they are making an honest effort.

  2. So, maybe your turning blue had some results, but if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for something dramatic, subtle but dramatic, to change. It’s the government red tape thing. . . or maybe the blame will be the cliff?
    Good Luck!!!

  3. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it will all come down to money, and nothing much will be done; other than hope nothing happens… Seen that way too often…

  4. I’m sure you’ve already done this, but try having a quiet, direct talk with each of your children’s teachers. Ask them what their plans are in the event of an emergency, and give them a really good listening to. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they’ve already got in place, or you might be able to suggest some small, immediate improvement for that classroom that still follows the overall school plan. And giving them a good listening-to might get those individual teachers fired up to talk about this with the administration too.

    • Great advice Kathy. I have sat down with one of the three and I have discussed with her plans and some of my resources. Have not yet had the chance with the other 2. Probably time I approach the others. Thanks!

  5. I am with you, in that at least they are taking some kind of action. Perhaps your voice, along with others, had an effect. This definitely is a good example of the importance of being involved, speaking up and taking action. If we do nothing, we certainly cannot expect any change at all.

  6. Good job! I was going to do my “walk thru” at the grands schools today…but, they are closed till next week. I expect to see major changes (for gosh sake’s, at least someone stopping me in the hall and asking me what I’m doing there!)

    Way to go, keep on them….and if the teachers tell you they’re preaching anything but escape and run, it’s time for the full court press!

  7. Before I retired from police work, I began putting on training for school/college violence prevention. Some of the research I did showed that in most cases, somebody knew that the shooters were going to do something bad—but said nothing to the police.
    I wonder if any of the schools have read any of the prevention information that’s been around for many years.
    NYPD did a study of over 150 of what we now call “Active shooter” cases from the 1960′s to a few years ago. the stats haven’t changed from more recent cases, but what is so hard to figure out is NY City makes gun ownership almost impossible. Only the cops and criminals have guns there.

    the US Secret Service studied the problem nation wide.and here’s what the US Secret Service put together. Taking guns away from good citizens will not fix the problem. There are going to be several things that have to be done–the first is for schools to read this information and act on it!

    http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac_ssi.shtml

  8. If you want input, suggestions or anything else please contact me. I have a host of experience with this kind of stuff and info I’d be happy to pass on to you.

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