Jackson County Public Schools is always open to explore and research additional ways to improve school safety within our District. During its most recent meeting, the Jackson County Board of Education heard from a variety of stakeholders regarding opinions and ideas surrounding school safety. In addition to the existing measures that were already in place, our school system has already revised or implemented other procedures to ensure school safety. There are revised visitor screening procedures, including a district-wide intercom protocol in place at each school, along with an improved protocol for ensuring that all exterior doors stay locked throughout the day, thus, allowing access through the front entrance only. School-Based Decision Making Councils (SBDM) will have a standing monthly agenda item focused on school safety, which will coincide with safe school’s committee work, and district representatives will attend upcoming conferences and trainings focused on research-based best practices for safe schools to bring innovative and new practices back to the District. The school system will also be conducting random metal detection screenings of entire student bodies by means of metal detection wands. The school system will also be conducting district-wide safety walk-throughs, as well as spot checks, of all school buildings to ensure continued compliance of all existing and new safety measures. The safety walk-throughs will be conducted by school and district-level administrative personnel.
In addition, one of the most exciting developments is the district’s confirmed participation with both Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement in the Adopt-A-School Program. According to Lt. Jason Gabbard of KSP Post 7, The Adopt-A-School Program is designed to prevent and intervene in an effort to prevent a violent act at a school facility. The role of the Kentucky State Police is to serve as a resource to accomplish this goal when requested through the following means:
- Providing training to school administrators and staff on topics of school/workplace violence, early detection and threat assessment and early intervention strategies.
B. Conducting security surveys of school facilities.
C. Providing a visible presence in and around school facilities as manpower and schedules permit.
D. Provide assistance in early intervention of a threat or violent act.
As a result of this program, there will be a noticeable increase of law enforcement presence both within school buildings and on school campuses, as available KSP and local law enforcement manpower and schedules allow. Please be aware that the increased presence of a law enforcement officials on school property is proactive and preventive in nature and does not necessarily mean that there is a specific threat to our schools, staff, or students.
Again, we would like to encourage parents/guardians, etc. to take the opportunity to speak with your child about the importance of school safety and the proper use of social media. While peer pressure is great at this age, we want to encourage students to feel comfortable about reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others. Working together we can maintain a safe, nurturing and healthy learning environment for all of our students and staff.
Mike Smith, Superintendent
Jackson County Public Schools