Teachers, parents and members of the Buckeye Schools community discuss school safety Wednesday night with Superintendent Kent Morgan, Medina County sheriffs Capt. Ken Baca and school resource officer John Girard at Buckeye Primary School.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
YORK TWP. — Buckeye Schools Superintendent Kent Morgan, Medina County sheriff’s Capt. Ken Baca and school resource officer John Girard fielded questions and explained the district’s safety policies for nearly two hours to an audience of about 75 community members Wednesday night.
Their talk, which already was scheduled for Wednesday night, followed on the heels of a threat at Buckeye Junior High School that morning.
“Everything that has been going on has been very unsettling for all of us. This is an emotionally challenging topic,” Morgan told the audience at Buckeye Primary School. “I want you to have the opportunity, when you leave here to feel like you had the opportunity to express yourself.”
After the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead, members of the Buckeye community began to ask questions about district policy, Morgan said.
He said one of the most frustrating things is that school officials only know what they know, and often the information is on social media before they are made aware of a potential situation.
“This is the problem. We do not hear from students or parents when things happen,” Morgan said. “In almost every situation where there has been a threat carried out against a school, in like 70 percent of those instances, someone else knew about it and never reported it.”
Wednesday morning was different.
Concerning that morning’s threat by a junior high student against another, Morgan said: “We had students that immediately reported that. Within the hour, we were already on top of it. That is rare.”
The student was arrested and taken to the Medina County Juvenile Detention.
Audience members asked questions that ranged from the district’s ALICE training (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) to the possibility of arming district teachers with firearms or putting metal detectors at the door.
Steve Evans, of Liverpool Township, a registered nurse and former firefighter, suggested the district look into Control the Bleed training. He said many shooting victims die from loss of blood rather than the wound itself.
“If you can control the bleeding the chances of someone surviving is astronomical,” Evans said.
Teachers and older students could be trained to stop a wounded individual from bleeding to death, he said.
One audience member asked about the possibility of installing metal detectors at the door, but Capt. Baca said that isn’t necessarily the perfect solution to stop someone from entering a school with a gun.
“There are a lot of things that sound real good in conversation until you put them in practical application,” Baca said. “If you are concerned about an active shooter, do you want 50-60 kids lined up outside waiting to go through a metal detector?”
Resource officer Girard said it would take nearly all day to properly scan every student attending school in the district, and would require a specially trained individual to operate the machine.
Morgan said district is taking a look at its safety policies and procedures, but officials being made aware of a possible safety issue at school in critical.
“The best defense for us to have is to know it before it happens.”
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.