Buckeye Local school officials look at safety

RAYLAND – Buckeye Local School District officials said they are working with local and state law enforcement agencies to ensure safety at all of the district’s buildings.

At the school board meeting earlier this week details shared by the district’s administrative team.

“If you see something, say something. Nothing is too small. If you see something that is out of place, say something. Report it. Don’t just pass it off as nothing,” said elementary school administrative team member William Luther, now assigned to West Elementary in Adena.

Luther shared those comments as being among the key lessons brought forward during a workshop he recently attended in Cleveland. He was one of the last of the district’s administrative team members to attend the specialized workshop.

The workshop, “Active Shooter Training for Educators,” is made available through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. Ohio Highway Patrol officers conduct the workshops.

“To prepare for these attacks we must simply prepare, develop a plan, work with law enforcement and train, train, train,” stated Luther.

“The biggest thing is communication. As a school district we have drills. We have different things that we do. But we have to also remember, until we’re in a situation, there are always ways we can improve,” he said.

“We have to know what is going on. When something happens what are our steps going to be. We have to know what are we going to do, and we have to do these things repeatedly. When you get tense and you get nervous, you revert back to the training you do,” he said.

“This was probably one of the best workshops we have been to in awhile. It was very informational,” Luther told school district officials. “They’re planning, and we should be planning, too.”

Several parents voiced support for the increased attention being seen in the district focused on safety and security measures for students and staff.

In other matters, all voiced support for passage of an emergency levy slated to be on the May ballot. If approved it will generate money to help fund building security improvements.

“The levy we are asking for in May is an emergency levy. The sole purposes of this levy is to fund putting an armed resource officer in every building, and to fund some structural changes in the buildings making direct access into a building less accessible,” said board member Chuck Haggerty. “We are looking at things that are practical – common sense, like having multiple doors to go through to actually get into a school, improving the doors, improving the locks on the classrooms, all those kinds of things. But the key to the whole thing is the money to do it.”