Barberton City Schools, Quality and their Security

With our schools security at the top of most people’s minds lately, everyone seems to have a solution that will make them feel better about our children’s safely. There are cravats with any solution presented but that does not mean they will not work. So in the blog post I wanted to just write about some of my feelings regarding Barberton City Schools, Quality and their Security.

What to know about Barberton City Schools

I have lived in Barberton my entire life and I have always seen Barberton City Schools as a good establishment. Even as an adult I think as a community our schools have become a place to be proud of. I talk to many of the staff and administration all the time. I attend just about every public meeting and even speak to the children as a volunteer for Junior Achievement. If you were to ask me how I would rate the Barberton School District, I would answer with an “A” and a thumbs up.

I know my take on the Barberton City Schools is bias since I am involved and I see all the hard work put into teaching our children. With this said, I am also a realist and I know we NEED to improve. According to the State of Ohio (http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/District-Report.aspx?DistrictIRN=043539), Barberton is not doing so hot. This can be debated but the numbers do not lie. Compared to our surrounding communities, we are just above the bottom of the list when it comes to quality.

Barberton City Schools Security

Oh, this is a hot topic. Everyone has a plan and suddenly became experts in security and statistical data overnight. Me personally, I do not fault anyone with strong opinions about this topic. As a parent with two children in the Barberton City Schools, I too have strong feelings on what I think will make our schools safer. There is one thing we all need to remember. There is no single thing we can do beside making our school a police state. We need to be real with ourselves and truly step outside our egos and talk.

All of our schools have an armed guard that roams the halls, etc. These are our resource officers. I made it a point to meet each one of them. They are truly amazing community members. Along with the resource officers, our schools have a security system that the police have direct access to. Each school trains using ALICE drills so that are children and teachers along with other staff know how to react to an active shooter. These few things are just an example of the what our City does to make our schools safer. Are our schools doing all they can? I think so. Can the security be improved, ABSOLUTELY!

The latest breach in security

With all our schools do to provide security, there are weak points in the plan. On April 19, 2018, a woman entered the High School and undressed in a restroom. This happened after the schools had locked the entrance doors to start the school day. As a Security Consultant and a Combat Veteran, I know that even the tightest security can run be breached. This breach was an example of a student letting the woman in a side door. The vulnerability was a person breaking protocol. This is often the case when things like this happen.

Fortunately and unfortunately, this can be fixed but was never addressed at the beginning. The schools system had educated themselves and the children on security but failed to enforce the issue when it came to where people can exit the building. There needs to be multiple exits to the building in case of an emergency so blocking these doors are not an option. I would suggest making them fire exits only and placing alarms on them. Restrict daily exits to the main entrances of the building during school hours and have a plan in place when an alarm is tripped.

Active Shooter Security

There has been a lot of heated debate about how we can limit people from taking guns into schools. Some of the ideas are proactive like placing metal detectors at the entrances of the schools. Another idea is more reactive and a deterrent and that is to arm teachers. Many other idea’s like placing veterans at the schools is a cool idea but is novelty and just a talking point that caters to a base and ratings.

So what do we do about this? Honesty, I will take some flashback from what I am about to say but this is my blog and my platform. Everyone talks about solutions that they feel will protect our children. Little to none of the people suggesting anything have any background in security and simply see their ideas with tunnel vision. I think we need to have conversations about this but when I say “we“, I mean the society as a whole. This stuff is best left to the professionals. I understand the strong feelings involved but emotions and ego are blinding and should never be in the equation.

Conclusion

I suggest that each parent and concerned citizen step up and talk to our children, be batter guides for our youth. We should be in communication with the schools and attend public meetings. We need to get involved more. This will help us understand the issues better and see the picture more clearly.

 

 

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