School Safety for Kingdom East

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police safety thumbnailAROUND THE NEK - Since the start of this year, the United States has been plagued with acts of violence in schools across the country. This is not a new issue, however it has become much more prominent after we welcomed the new year.

The devastating losses experienced at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida have raised the question as to if schools in U.S. are still a safe place for students.
In Vermont, many schools across the state are seeking to improve and revitalize their safety initiatives. Many schools have started practicing active shooter drills more frequently, and many more are instituting new safety protocols to replace out of date practices. In many schools, the "Run, Hide, or Fight" has taken off as more schools prepare their students for multiple contingencies versus only planning to hide from potential danger.
One aspect of school systems in Vermont that has made new protocols difficult to be instituted is the switch to unified school districts. Jennifer Botzojorns, the Superintendent for the New Kingdom East School District, has accepted that "Due to the timing there is very little that we can do as a unified district to aid the effort to improve emergency practices." She did, however, go on to explain that they are still working with one hand tied behind their back to improve school safety. "We have asked all schools in our district to complete evaluations of their safety protocols and practices," she said, "This way we can see what needs work at which school, so that when we do unify as a district, we will know what we need to look at and focus on first."
This is not to say that this is the only thing that schools are doing to ensure that they are improving student safety. Botzojorns made it abundantly clear that each school has been working on its own to improve student safety and preparedness. "When we reached out to our schools, many of them already had reports to send to us, and the others were simply still finishing their evaluations of their schools safety measures. I have no worries that we are going to greatly improve safety at our schools; our students have a right to feel safe in their classrooms, and we are going to try our best to make sure that they are safe when they go to school everyday."