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 , this issue has been at the forefront of conversations across the country, including Northeast Ohio. School districts from North Canton 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.
Last month, following the school shooting Connecticut, the district issued a statement regarding safety in the Lakewood schools.
Superintendent Jeff Patterson recently reiterated that message on Monday.
"This is a top priority for our school district," he said, adding a list of security measures:
- Up to date security/emergency plans are in place for all school buildings’
- All entrances to school buildings are locked throughout the school day
- Security cameras monitor access points in each building
- Staff members have received updated training on how to deal with emergency issues
- Each building conducts regular drills on lockdown procedures
- Lakewood Police train regularly to deal with potential school scenarios
- Police have access to our facilities and floor plans
- Student ID’s are required at the Middle and High School levels. All staff/adults are required to have I.D.’s as well
- We limit/designate building access for student arrivals
- We maintain a security staff at LHS and a District-wide Security Supervisor for the District
- We maintain (2) school resource police officers in the district
"With all this said, we will continue to review our safety measures and protocols," said Patterson. "We must provide a safe place for students to learn and staff to work in and maintain an inviting school environment at the same time.
"Over the past few weeks and during the months to come the Lakewood Schools will be reviewing additional safety measures. We will also focus on additional efforts to educate students and staff on anti-bullying efforts and how to identify students that need emotional and/or psychological support."