Safety is Lakota’s Number One Priority

Safety is Lakota’s Number One Priority
Posted on 02/18/2018
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The number one priority at Lakota Local Schools is the safety and security of our students, staff and visitors. Many of the ways we work to provide a safe learning environment for our students are visible as you walk through our schools, while others take place behind the scenes.

Visitors to our buildings must identify themselves and the reason for their visits before being admitted through our updated safe and secure entrances. Once in the office, visitors must sign in and obtain a visitor’s badge that they must wear throughout their stay.

Inside the schools, you will see School Resource Officers, uniformed police officers from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office or West Chester Police Department. The number of SROs has increased from three to 10 in the past years. Assigned to specific buildings, these SROs make their presence known to students, staff and visitors by being visible throughout the day. By being assigned to specific buildings, they are able to build relationships and trust with our students.

Preparing our staff and students how to respond in an emergency is crucial and is a task that we take seriously at Lakota. Throughout the year, Ohio schools must meet the requirements set forth by the State. These include:
- Submitting an emergency management plan.
- Providing students with safety and violence prevention training. Lakota uses ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training for handling the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. A tiered approach is used – the training for seniors is very different from first-graders.   
- Monthly fire drills.
- Tornado drills during May, June and July.
- Three safety drills.

An example of a safety drill would be a K-9 search of lockers and hallway areas. This type of random search would take place during class hours, while the school would be under an internal lockdown to prohibit students from leaving their classrooms.

Other initiatives include the text-a-tip program created through Lakota’s District Parent Council in consultation with our Butler County SROs, safe driving classes, self-defense classes, suicide/self-harm procedures and mental health support and services. Additionally, we have increased our collaboration with local first responders through our District Safety Team.

Lakota’s District Safety Team meets on a regular basis to discuss security protocols. Members of this team include central office personnel, building administration, all Lakota SROs, a member of the school board, and other local law enforcement supervisors. Over the past months, district administrators have been working on new safety protocols which will be announced in the coming weeks.