Idaho's biggest school district meets to discuss Conn. shooting, how to improve school safety
On the first day of school since a gunman entered a classroom and killed 20 children, flags across the nation flew at half-staff. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
On the first day of school since a gunman entered a classroom and killed 20 children, flags across the nation flew at half-staff.
“I’ve watched reports all weekend trying to pick up every little detail I can,” Meridian School District spokesman Eric Exline said.
Exline started at the Meridian School District the same year two students killed 13 at their school in Colorado.
“Even more than Columbine, which was a horrible event,” Exline said, “this has triggered a bigger conversation.”
Columbine led Meridian schools to improve building design, emergency plans, check-in procedures, staff badges and lock-down drills. Exline and district leaders hoped to learn even more from Newtown, Monday, meeting to discuss how to improve safety at Idaho schools.
“You go back and review everything you do and say: What can we learn that we would do differently?” Exline said.
In Monday’s meeting, the district only identified little things: Multiple adults must now possess the ability to lock down a school from multiple locations. And every door to every classroom must have a lock and every teacher the ability to use it.
Exline also believed students could help to prevent these situations by reporting anything they hear that might concern them.
“They are really connected in their own community,” he said.
But even as Meridian broke down the logistics of what happened in Newtown and made plans for further improvements to its own emergency plans, Exline admitted that how to make schools safe is an ongoing conversation and a never-ending task.
“I think we’ve done a good job of learning from everything that’s happened,” he said. “I just don’t think we can ever be complacent.”