School district to implement new safety programs

A Carmel Clay Schools parent discusses changes to the school year calendar at the Sept. 26 school board meeting. The next school board meeting will be Oct. 24. PHOTO / CAROLINE ZHANG

A Carmel Clay Schools parent discusses changes to the school year calendar at the Sept. 26 school board meeting. The next school board meeting will be Oct. 24. PHOTO / CAROLINE ZHANG

Beats

A Carmel Clay Schools parent discusses changes to the school year calendar at the Sept. 26 school board meeting. The next school board meeting will be Oct. 24. PHOTO / CAROLINE ZHANG

The school district will begin new programs and policies for safety enhancement following a discussion about safety at the Oct. 10 workshop. New policies will include starting intruder drills and allowing any staff member to declare an emergency in the school, instead of just the principal.

According to school board president Tricia Hackett, the new safety measures involve a slightly different approach than previous policies.

“It’s a thinking program,” she said. “We’re not mandating teachers; instead, it presents different scenarios they might face.”

Drills will vary, Hackett said, according the scenario teachers and students face. Part of the school may be evacuated if an intruder is at the opposite end of the school, in order to ensure greatest survival.

“You’re allowed to survive. You don’t have to huddle in a corner,” she said. “After incidents such as Virginia Tech, there’s a new way of thinking in the country, and we’re trying to utilize it at home.”

Alex Chong, senator and senior, said he agrees with this attitude of continually reevaluating policies.

He said, “Students always change, classes always change, so I think it’s important to look at revising school goals, even if I don’t agree with the new system.”

Hackett said safety is an ongoing priority.

She said, “A lot’s already in place, but it’s always being re-vamped and is an ongoing conversation. We’re an education institution, but it really is safety first.”

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