Bowling Green City Schools addresses safety at public forum

Bowling Green City Schools addresses safety at public forum
(Source: WTOL)

BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - An important discussion happening in schools across the county. Thursday that discussion on school safety hit Bowling Green City Schools.

Safety is the top priority at schools across the county. In Bowling Green they were getting serious about solutions.

"The safety and concern of our students is first and foremost," said Superintendent Francis Scruci.

Parents said after the shooting in Parkland Florida, they struggled to find answers, making this discussion an important one.

"I think that they just need to look at practical solutions," said Tracy Hovest, an educator and mother of a third grader. "Not you know, arming teachers, not going full board, but look at practical solutions. What can we do with our doors, with our windows."

"It's very difficult when we have so many different campus' and really outdated antiquated buildings that weren't built for situations like this," said Zeb Kellough, a father and Bowling Green City Schools elementary curriculum coordinator. "So, to be able to have a more consolidated campus would help us out a lot for just security reasons."

Those at the meeting spoke about wanting less guns and more mental health support for the school. Leaders from the district took notes as community members shared their ideas.

Both the police and fire department were on hand to discuss how they are prepared to work together in a crisis. BG police already are in and around the schools, but say their bumping up their presence.

"It's just important for the community to know that they are not being ignored," explained Chief Tony Hetrick of the Bowling Green Police Department. "This is an issue we all feel and their kids are our kids too and we want to make sure that everybody is safe."

Every classroom in the district does have a boot to lock down a classroom quickly, an option the superintendent thinks is useful in case of emergency. The district is also making other adjustments like addressing entry to their buildings, having an anonymous tip line, upgrading safety protocols like how to handle an unscheduled fire alarm.

"You look at all of your processes and you say okay what do we need to do differently," asked Superintendent Scruci. "How can we compromise and make sure that our kids are safe, but still protect them from any other secondary attacks."

While no action was taken during the forum Thursday, it's just the beginning. Leaders plan to prioritize implementation in the near future.

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