Fayetteville-Perry Schools increasing safety

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By Martha B. Jacob

In response, in part, to the recent school shootings, Fayetteville-Perry Local Schools has kicked into high gear and will be making the district schools as safe for its students as possible, according to the schools superintendent, Jim Brady. “We are currently making upgrades to all our schools in order to assure the safety of our students in the event of a school shooting,” Brady said. “Beginning with the new school year which begins in late August, we now have a full time SRO (School Resource Officer). We’ve been working with the Fayetteville Chief of Police Chad Essert and we are pleased to announce that Officer Sean Waddle will be at our school buildings every day of the week.” Brady explained that the district has three buildings, and the elementary school is separated by a street, but that Officer Waddle will be patrolling both buildings throughout the day. “Mr. Waddle has actually been helping out at the school for the past couple of years,” Brady said, “so he’s going to be no stranger to the students,” he said. According to Chief Essert, Office Waddle was the right man to fill the position of SRO. “Officer Waddle has a passion for children and always requests to work with the schools,” Chief Essert said. “He has three children of his won and is looking forward to school starting back up this year.” Superintendent Brady said that an important bill is currently being discussed in congress regarding finding ways for school districts pay for safety upgrades. Ohio Senator Joe Uecker was recently part of a discussion group in Brown County, meeting with school superintendents, other state representatives, and senators, talking about ways to finance safety upgrades for Ohio Schools. “Our staff here at Fayetteville-Perry will also be having training by the Brown County Mental Health and Addiction Services and representatives from Child Focus,” Brady said. “We will be learning how to recognize early signs of troubled students with mental issues. We will receive training in mental health, first aide and identifying students with special challenges.” Mr. Brady said that all the schools phone systems will be upgraded so that lock downs could take place from anywhere in the building. “We’ll also be adding strobes both outside the building as well as in hallways,” Brady said. “Our challenge will be the cost of all these upgrades, but we’re doing what we can. “I’ve had a few discussions with Jim Frazier, superintendent of the Brown County Educational Service Center and he is in the early stages of the possibility of placing a county security levy on the ballot. The levy would be strictly for security upgrades for Brown County Schools as needed. “Our board members have also approved improving a vestibule at our elementary school. Currently once a visitor is buzzed into the school they can walk directly to the office, but they could also go in any direction. With the construction of a vestibule, visitors will be buzzed into a small room where they must first show identification before being buzzed into the main building. I believe all other schools in the county already have vestibules.” Brady said the school has already added 4 more cameras throughout the buildings with plans on adding even more, as they are purchased. He said every window of the school will be numbered both on the inside and the outside. The doors are already numbered to help law enforcement identify which door or window is being effected. “When schools were first built,” Superintendent Brady said, “They were built so that we could educate children, they weren’t meant to be a security fortress. Sadly, that’s our challenge today, as educators. “Our staff have all received ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evaluate) training. We are as prepared as we can possibly be for the worst.”

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