See Something, Say Something week expands safety training

Peace+officers+on+campus+are+doing+their+best+to+ensure+safety+for+all+Central+students.

Photo by Evelyn Govern

Peace officers on campus are doing their best to ensure safety for all Central students.

Evelyn Govern, Staff Writer

Only three months into 2018, and there have already been five fatal school shootings. After the latest and most tragic of these, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida which claimed 17 lives, schools across the country are revisiting their safety policies. Central High is among the high schools seeking to provide increased security and reassurance for students. Among other efforts, Central held a “See Something, Say Something” week to increase student awareness regarding safety protocols and policies.

The name of this safety-themed week arose from what administrators see as one of Central’s best defenses against school violence. Central East vice principal Renée Lynd states, “Central does a great job of building relationships with students, so students feel comfortable going to a trusted adult when they do hear something alarming.” The administration decided to capitalize on what students already do well, while offering additional tools to stay safe.

Central East vice principal Ezequiel Gutierrez explains that Central High currently has more stringent, detailed policies than many schools, but educating students to deal with any emergency is an ongoing process. Gutierrez states, “In terms of drills we already do, we’re compliant with the district protocol, which is above and beyond what other schools are doing in the Valley. We run one fire drill every month. We also have to have two lock down drills each semester.” Never the less, he says the district is continually looking for ways to firm up and expand their existing safety plan.

At the high school level, efforts have been made to increase dialogue between district administrators and staff by incorporating safety issues into staff meetings this year. More frequent emails are sent out to remind staff about emergency protocols. Most recently, administrative meetings were held to discuss ways to more extensively prepare students for an active shooter situation. Greater parent outreach is also part of this year’s plan. Parents have been receiving more emails concerning safety tips for their children in case of emergencies along with updates on events designed to promote safety awareness across the district.

Central’s comprehensive school safety plan, can be found on page 70 of the Parent & Student Notification and Information Handbook for 2017-2018, which may be accessed here. More information about See Something Say Something week is also available on our school website under “Announcements,” which you can view here.