School safety stressed in light of Florida mass shooting

It can happen here

By Sam Shriver - [email protected]

LIMA — In light of Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died, area school superintendents are reflecting on the incident. While they’re thankful it didn’t happen here, they’re ever alert to the possibility that it could.

“I’m not sure that you could ever stop someone with evil intentions like that completely,” said Jill Ackerman, superintendent of Lima schools. “I think that we’ve done a lot over the course of the years. I think that the installation of school resource officers was big for us in every building and this year we’ve spent a lot of time working with our internal staff on securing buildings even in so much people have to report to the front office of any building, even if they’re an employee with the district. That’s been the most recent thing that we’ve done,” Ackerman said.

“We try to approach every day that it can happen here today and try to approach it from that perspective because we just always try to be attentive and it truly can happen here,” said Keith Horner, superintendent of Wapakoneta schools.

All schools in the area go through ALICE training, where law enforcement and school staff re-enact active shooter scenarios.

“We follow the ALICE principles which really tries to train people as best as they can to react to certain situations. Every employee has been trained in that,” said Horner.

“We go through the ALICE training and really in the last probably five to 10 years in the district the new elementary buildings they were constructed with a lot of this type of thing in mind having to be buzzed into buildings things like that. We’ve added card readers so that staff have to use cards or key fobs to get themselves into the buildings so you can keep track of who is coming and going. Any visitors have to be buzzed into the buildings,” said Don Horstman, superintendent of Ottawa-Glandorf schools.

None of the three superintendents are in favor of installing metal detectors as they are too costly to purchase and staff.

The idea of arming teachers has two leaders intrigued.

“I used to be against it. I guess I’m moving a little bit closer to understanding it,” Horner said.

“If we would do that at Ottawa-Glandorf, I would want to make sure we have people that have gone through very extensive training, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it,” said Horstman.
It can happen here

By Sam Shriver

[email protected]

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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