School Safety Reforms Central to President Obama’s Gun Control Proposal
The Stow-Munroe Falls schools already have a number of the recommendations in place and have formed a safety task force, officials say.
President Barack Obama presented a sweeping set of gun control recommendations on Wednesday, with many focused directly on increasing safety measures in schools.
According to the Politics K-12 blog, the proposals signal a shift in federal priorities: the proposals ask for increases in school safety and mental health counseling funding, areas the administration has sought to cut in the budget in recent years.
Check out the Politics K-12 post for a more in-depth look at the proposals, which includes creating model emergency response plans for institutions like schools and providing $50 million for training for professionals like social workers and counselors who plan to work with young adults.
The full text of the plan can also be found on the White House website.
The local school safety conversation
In the month since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., this issue has been at the forefront of conversations across the country, including Northeast Ohio. School districts from Stow to Lakewood to Mentor have taken the issue on, opting to strengthen their ID policy for visitors and looking for ways to identify students that need extra support.
In her State of the City address, Mayor Sara Drew said the city has formed a safety task force with the school district and Munroe Falls. Find the full list of Obama's executive actions, which can go into effect immediately without congressional approval, on the New York Times’ website.
"The Stow Police Department provides additional police presence at the schools through the Adopt-A-Cop Program, which requires Police Officers to visit the schools in their districts several times a week," stated a letter to the community from the department.
In a phone call with Patch, Dirker also explained what Stow police are prepared to do in the event of an emergency.
If someone enters a Stow school with the intent to do harm, Dirker would immediately send three to four heavily armed officers into the affected building to take care of the threat. This form of response is known as rapid deployment.
Dirker explained Stow officers go through annual field training exercises and learn how to quickly sweep through school buildings in order to find and neutralize one or more targets. They’re trained to shoot AR-15 rifles, which are found in each Stow police cruiser.
*Editor John Deike contributed to this article.
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