Latest in Safety-Security Initiatives

Increased School Resource Officer Presence, New Visitor Management System Latest in Safety-Security Initiatives
Posted on 08/07/2018
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photo of resource officer giving students high-fivesLakota Schools has announced several new safety and security initiatives since the spring. Most recently, the district has committed to hiring eight additional school resource officers (SRO) for the upcoming school year, bringing the total number to 18. This will allow full-time law enforcement coverage at every Lakota school campus.

“We appreciate our partnerships with the West Chester Police Department and Butler County Sheriff’s Office,” said Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller. “Increasing the number of school resource officers is another layer in our safety and security protocols.”

The decision comes on the heels of other recently announced safety initiatives. Earlier this year, the district announced new tools such as the SaferSchools Ohio anonymous tip line and Raptor, the new visitor management system that will begin in the fall.

The district encourages parents and community members to visit its schools. All visitors will be asked to participate in an onsite background check through Raptor Technologies. A scan of a driver’s license or state issued ID initiates the check at the time of the first visit to the building. If volunteers will be working with individual or small groups of students, a more in-depth background check will be performed.

Beginning Aug. 10, a link will be posted from the volunteer page of lakotaonline.com. Volunteers are asked to complete the online application for a fee of $15. Once approved the results will be valid for three years.

Any volunteer who was fingerprinted through the BCI/FBI program between July 1, 2017 - July 1, 2018 will be automatically approved by Raptor for an additional three years.

All volunteer coaches must still be fingerprinted through Lakota’s human resources department.

Safety and security in Lakota also includes the mental health of our students. Plans to launch Hope Squads at Lakota’s four junior schools have already begun. Furthermore, following last year’s pilot at Lakota West, access to mental health services will expand to Lakota East and all four junior schools through the district’s partnership with MindPeace. As the program progresses, additional buildings will be added. Other efforts, which have not been announced publicly for security reasons, are being reviewed and implemented as well.

Lakota’s new safety initiatives build upon the strong foundation already in place, including but not limited to:

  • A range of safety drills required by law and by the Ohio Department of Education;
  • Active shooter training (ALICE) for all students and staff;

  • Strict and consistent protocols for welcoming visitors and guests into Lakota buildings;

  • Unannounced drug searches in partnership with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office;

  • Proactive anti-bullying programs like Be the Difference, the ID Project and the Fuse Project;

  • A district-wide focus on the E+R=O model (event + your response = affects the outcome), which encourages students and staff to press pause and consider the consequences of their reactions; and

  • Regular administrator training, including simulations, on emergency and crisis management in partnership with local law enforcement.

More information about these safety and security programs is available on the Safety and Security page of Lakota’s website.