SPOKAN, WASHINGTON – School security measures have come a long way over the years, and districts will continue to improve them.
Following the shooting at Uwalde School, which killed 19 children and two teachers, the Central Valley School District said parents were asking questions about safety protocols as well as ideas on how to ensure safety on campus.
Brian Asmus, director of school district safety and security, says they are exploring some of the ideas they have been given.
«[We are] see if they are something that will work, or possible if that is something we can put in place. Does that make sense? So we are at the earliest stage of some of them, ”Asmus said.
There are several security protocols in the area. Asmus says not only one mitigation measure but several things together are taken to ensure student safety.
There are many cells in the school grounds of the district, which can also be easily reached by law enforcement if necessary. Each school has a single entry point for visitors, so no one can just walk into the school if the staff doesn’t let them in. Students also undergo exercises throughout the academic year to know which protocols.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to do it and think that way, but now we’re safer because of the things we have,” Asmus said.
Asmus says districts and law enforcement are working very closely. He knows all too well, having served as Lake Liberty Police Chief for almost 20 years before taking up the school district office.
When considering the threats that arise, schools and law enforcement work together to determine if the threat is real, where it came from and who made it. Asmus says many of these threats come from outside our region.
“Many times we can identify a person who is making a threat, but we know that,” Asmus said. “If we can intervene quickly, and then we can solve the problem without affecting the school.”
Asmus said that even with all the measures currently being taken, there is still a starting point for these threats. They work with students to make sure they are doing well, get to know the children and provide them with a support system.
Another protocol: “see something, say something.” Asmus wants students to be alert and tell adults if something is wrong or suspicious.
“The vast majority of each [shootings], someone knew. They wrote something, drew something. Something was posted on social networks. Someone told someone, ”he said. “The vast majority of each of them, someone knew and therefore really encouraged students, parents, [if] they see or hear something, say something and report it. “
The district is working with law enforcement to increase the reach of resource workers by keeping them in schools longer. They’re also going to check to see if they need clearer cameras, with the ability to move some. These plans were in development before filming last Tuesday.
The district welcomes suggestions from families, if any, to help student safety.
READ: “Put an End to Gun Violence”: Lewis and Clark High School Students Go Out in Unity to Support Victims of Shooting in Uwalde
READ: Washington’s gun security groups are demanding change after the Uwalde shooting
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