Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson said in the video message that all local law enforcement need to have that information.
“Situations happen so quickly and our response time, if we don’t have SROs on staff, it’s going to take us a little time to get here,” Robinson said. “So I think it’s a good step, and like they said, another layer in the protection of our students.”
Like many districts, Wyen said Mad River already does ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) to prepare students and staff for an intruder or shooter. He said the district considered adding a school resource officer, as many schools have, but decided on a team approach.
“We realized ALICE wasn’t enough, Wyen said. “We needed to add another layer to our approach to school safety.”
The district has a year to prepare, and Wyen said they’ve already had detailed communication with Sidney City Schools, which has both armed staff response teams and an armed sheriff’s deputy in each school building.
School safety experts often advise that there’s no way to totally eliminate the risk of a school attack. In two recent interviews with this newspaper, safety analyst Ken Trump urged schools to keep a focus on more common threats such as assaults and noncustodial parent incidents. Trump often says the best safety procedure is to have all staff and students trained on a variety of situations.
Wyen admitted Mad River has been very quiet about its year-long review of the issue, which to the school board’s approval of the policy Thursday night.
“Once you start having the conversation with families, there’s a lot of emotions that drive that,” he said. “We’ll deploy a robust communication plan now to get this out there for our community.”
Early responses to the news — on the school’s Facebook page and this newspaper’s website — have been largely positive. Wyen encouraged residents, students and parents to call or email the district with any concerns they have.