Kentucky schools react to Florida shooting
JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- The superintendent at the Florida school that became the site of the latest mass shooting this week says the gunman got into school around dismissal, what he called a fairly “open” time for the school. Are any central Kentucky school districts re-assessing safety plans in light of that?
In Jessamine County, the superintendent and police say violence is something they’ll never be able to stop, but they can continue to work on improving their response. They say the district has worked with the Center for Safe Schools to develop emergency response plans for each school, and every Nicholasville officer has those plans.
Ten years ago, police partnered with the district to put a school resource officer in the middle and high schools.
“We’re always revising our emergency plans and each time we respond to a crisis we come together with the Nicholasville Police Department and other agencies to really reflect on what we’re doing and see what adjustments need to be made,” Superintendent Matt Moore said.
“We’re always going to be thinking about things because as the technology evolves and as things change we’re always going to be looking at those things. We hate for these things to be highlighted and then us think, ‘Oh gosh, what do we need to do next? Here’s what happened there. How do we prevent that?’ Again, there’s always a scenario that somebody’s going to come up with that we don’t have in that plan, in that book,” Officer Kevin Grimes said.
Grimes says officers at Jessamine schools make themselves particularly visible during arrival and dismissal times for that reason. After the Marshall County school shooting just last month, that district has decided to search every students’ bag every morning.
Moore says before implementing a new strategy like that or metal detectors, he feels it’s important to see how it performs in other districts, and weigh the benefits and the negatives. Grimes says keeping schools safe is constantly under review.
Beyond what’s in his control, Grimes says he’d like to see lawmakers find a way to fund a program to put more officers in schools. Moore says he would ask lawmakers to find a way to bring all the necessary groups together to find a data driven plan to reduce the number of school shootings.