The Important Issues

 

Securing Our Schools

School safety is a hot-button topic right now, as it should be. Our society is becoming more and more unstable, with mental health issues and other triggers running seemingly unchecked. There has been much discussion on how to best protect our schools, but it seldom comes from true understanding of the problems and dangers our schools face. Many politicians spit out sound bites to make it sound like they care and want to solve the problem, when they are just worried about how it will help their bids for re-election.

School safety is close to my heart. I’ve been an active shooter instructor since 2016, and have a passion for keeping our kids out of harm’s way. Over the years I’ve participated in many meetings and round table discussions with school administrators, teachers, emergency services personnel and law enforcement.

Solving the mental health crisis and myriad other contributors to school shootings doesn’t seem likely to happen soon. In the meantime, we have a responsibility to protect our children.

There are steps that can be taken at the local level. One is to create a task force of school administrators and select law enforcement officers from various agencies. It would keep up to date on best practices; assist with planning and conducting training in schools; and possibly oversee safety audits to keep procedures sharp and discourage complacency.

Getting the various school systems that service Kosciusko County all on the same page with best practices and procedures for handling critical incidents and active shooters.  This will assist responding emergency personnel with knowing that all schools will be acting in a similar way upon arrival.  

Making changes to infrastructure of the school to better enhance its secure status with minimal additional cost to the schools.  

School safety is something I’m already working to improve, and as sheriff I will focus more time, energy, and resources on keeping our children safe. We can take positive action now to better protect children in our schools.

“We have a responsibility to protect the children in our schools.  There are steps that can be taken, and changes made, here at the local level.”

– James Marshall

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