Courtesy photo Highlands County School Superintendent Wally Cox makes a point at the security meeting.
published: Saturday, February 09, 2013
School officials meet with sheriff to evaluate security
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING - On Wednesday, Highlands County Superintendent of Schools Wally Cox, school board member Donna Howerton, school principals and key staff met with Sheriff Susan Benton and her law enforcement team along with members of the Sebring Police Department to discuss school security issues.
Particularly, the sheriff wanted to discuss the Active Shooter General Order of the sheriff's office and what the schools could expect from law enforcement should one of the school's get into an active shooter situation.
According to public information officers Nell Hayes, there was thorough discussion among the participants leading to many questions asked and answered. Leaders vowed to address what improvements to school safety can be achieved and to coordinate procedures among all schools that will be needed should such an emergency arise.
Captain Tim Lethbridge presented a history lesson of sorts on school shootings, outlining emergency response procedures over time up to the current active shooter response plans that are currently in place. Sheriff Benton offered the services of her members to help evaluate each campus to assist in creating such plans.
Further, relative to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), formal site evaluations were offered that take into consideration proper design and effective use of the environment to lead to a reduction in crime as well as traditional crime prevention tools such as fencing and locks. Additional meetings will be held as plans progress.
Cox said, "I'd like to thank Sheriff Benton for spearheading this collaborative process. It's obvious that the primary concern of the sheriff's office is the same as that of the School Board; the safety of our students and staff. We will schedule a meeting with the sheriff's core staff to plan for individual school site surveys."
Benton said that "our get together was extremely valuable; everyone was engaged and willing to put in the time necessary to ensure that we are all prepared to protect our kids should we be faced with such a serious event."
School Safety (by: shsstudent - 2/12/2013)
School safety is a very touchy issue. People want the safety of their kids; and at the same time want it to be a learning enviroment, not a prison. I think that we should have armed guards on campus. Not a rifile or an automatic weopon, instead have a conciled weopon. If the person was to have an obvious weopon wouldn't this person be the, if there ever is one, shooters first target?
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