Back to school security following weekend mass shootings
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After the weekend of shootings, parents, teachers, and students are thinking of their safety.
Some Kentucky districts and universities go back to school in just a couple weeks and sadly, we often see places of learning become places of violence.
Schools are getting ready to come alive again but after two mass shootings in one weekend, there is a sense of caution in the air.
University of Kentucky’s Chief of Police Joe Monroe said campus safety is their number one priority because you can’t have a learning environment if students and staff don’t feel safe.
“One of the things that we do is we really try to educate the students. Some of them are coming for the first time and being away from home on how they can prepare themselves to be safe and take safety measures that we offer free of charge to help them be safe,” Chief Monroe said.
The U.K. Police Department offers a couple of different programs to help students during the school year. They have STAR, a defense program, and a LIVE SAFE mobile app that allows virtual escorts and location access.
Not only are colleges and universities training for this worst-case scenario, but grade schools are also taking extra precautions.
Public Information Officer for Madison County Schools Erin Stewart said, “The training that our primary teachers receive is obviously very different then what our high school teachers receive. However, the active shooter training that our state police provides is very specific for protecting kids and staying safe.”
She said they have to be talking about this issue and thinking about the right steps to take all throughout the school year because of the large number of students in a small proximity.
She also stresses that they know these situations never duplicate, “If it happens here it’s going to look different then if it happens somewhere else. We have to know our buildings so our staff tries to be very very familiar with all of the exits and where those exits lead and escape routes if you will for how to get kids out of the building if we need to or how to hide them in the building if we need to,” Stewart said.
For more information on LIVE SAFE, visit this website https://www.uky.edu/police/livesafe
For more information on the STAR defense program at UK, visit this website: https://www.uky.edu/police/starr-womens-self-defense-program-0