Marshall County High School, Kentucky – You’re in Our Thoughts and Prayers

Children raising their hands to show they careToday, during our Professional Development Day, our staff will participate in a moment of silence at 12:30 pm in honor of the victims, their families, and the survivors of the recent school shooting that took place at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. Knowing all of us hurt, we invite you to do the same, wherever you may be today.

If you are not yet aware, a school shooting took place on Tuesday, January 23 at Marshall County High School, killing two student and injuring 18 others. A 15 year-old student was arrested at the scene of the event.

This is the 11th school shooting this year (since January 1, 2018) that has taken place on a school campus in the United States… With the increasing number of shootings taking place on school campuses and elsewhere, it’s important that we are vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community. Katherine W. Schweit, a former FBI official and co-author of a study examining 160 active shooting incidents in the United States recently stated, “We have become numb to these kind of shootings and I think it will continue.”

As part of the MVSD’s Project Safe and Secure, our Emergency Operations Committee, consisting of MVSD Staff, Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, Twisp Police Department, Fire District 6, Washington State Parks Department, Aero Methow, and Room One have been meeting regularly to ensure we are prepared to respond to a variety of threats (physical, social-emotional, and social-media) to the safety of our children.

Thanks to the generous support of our community, we invested a portion of our Technology and Safety Levy funds to complete the installation of security cameras on our buses and throughout our school campus. In addition, we’ve installed a new electronic card lock system, allowing us to lockdown our buildings with a push of a button.

Moving forward, we will continue our regular schedule of monthly drills, install ADA accessible entry/exit ways, and install emergency bus kits. In addition, we’ll be engaging all students and staff in training specific to an Intruder or Active Shooter event. This will include:

  • Safe Schools online training for all staff in LANCE
  • Building walk-throughs/threat assessment
  • All student and staff training and through table top exercises and coordinated Active Shooter exercises with our first responders
  • Parent training opportunities

For those not familiar with the LANCE protocol, Mike Dingle, NC ESD Crisis Co-op manager, former State Trooper, and certified ALICE trainer has assembled a collection of best practices that he refers to as LANCE which stands for:

  • Lockdown or Out
  • Alert (Internal Notification)
  • Notify (External Notification – First Responders)
  • Commit (Fight)
  • Evacuate (Run and Hide)

The order of the action items isn’t in a set order, rather adjustable knowing each event is different and requires our students and staff to think critically and use their best judgment in support of their safety and the safety of others.

We look forward to providing opportunities for our parents to learn alongside of us.

For those seeking support as you think about how you talk with your child about school shootings, violence, and/or other threats, here’s a link you may find helpful:

Please hug your child…