Safety First

Extra steps to improve safety noticed

Safety planning and drills are something that all schools have become familiar with in recent years.

This year teachers have been encouraged to lock their doors to add another layer of protection during the school day. Decisions about safety at school came from a group of teachers and staff who act as a local guide to the best safety decisions.
“We have two safety teams,” said Assistant Principal Kyle Neukam. “One is the Incident Command Team. This team responds to all drills and emergencies here at school. The second is the school safety team. This team is made up of teachers, administration and other staff to collaborate safety techniques and make sure we are up to date with all safety measures the state requires.”
In recent discussions, the team talked about informing staff with all the safety precautions that they are required to do by the State.
“All administration has certain roles on the Incident Command Team and School Safety Committee. Fire drills are required once a month, while tornado drills are once every semester. Earthquake drills are once a school year. Lock down drills are as desired,” said Neukam.
The Indiana State Police developed a training program for school administration in response to an active shooting incident. This past summer, Paoli teachers here at our school had an active shooting drill. Police officers came into the school and shot blanks so that teachers would know what a gunshot would sound and smell like if one actually happened.
“School safety is priority number one,” said resource teacher Tyler Galloway, who is a member of the of the school safety team. “If students and staff do not have a safe environment to work in, nothing will ever get accomplished. It is beneficial for all staff to understand the procedures for each drill.”
Along with the shooting drills, schools across Indiana have also been assigned police officers. They are assigned the role of safety expert and law enforcer, problem-solver and liaison to community resources and educator. This year that job was given to Officer Matt Sergeant.
“Officer Sergeant’s presence has help to introduce students to what the legal ramifications are when the law is broken,” said Neukam. “His description of the laws to our students has given them an insight of what can happen if they choose to make a poor decision,” said Neukam.

Story by: India Wong