Clark County Public Schools discusses safety protocols after Texas tragedy

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022

By Matt Cizek

matt.cizek@winchestersun.com

Last week the nation was rocked by news of the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, that left at least 21 people dead, including 19 students and one teacher.

With such tragedies on the nightly news it is natural that anyone, including school staff, might think of it from a personal lens, as the community considers wellbeing at large.

“I try to look at it as a parent first,” Clark County Public Schools Superintendent Molly McComas said. “I’d [want to know] what efforts schools are making to keep the kids safe.”

McComas and her husband have two grown children.

CCPS has already taken several safety measures into account over the course of the school year.

“I don’t know if the public really realizes how frequently we’re reviewing safety, right down to the daily basis,” McComas said. “We are fortunate enough to have resource officers in Clark County. We have a safety committe and they meet every month.”

George Rogers Clark High School has two school resource officers on duty, while other schools have one.

The school law enforcement officers, abbreviated SLEOs, regularly monitor the grounds, watch cameras and cafeterias, and observe that doors are properly locked, among other duties.

With regard to the front vestibule, or place of entry, parents and others must be double buzzed prior to being welcomed inside.

Unfortunately, as reported Thursday afternoon by the Texas Department of Public Safety, it did not appear that Robb Elementary School was equipped with a school resource officer.

Clark County Public Schools has also sought to work in coordination with jurisdiction brought down by the state of Kentucky which has helped lead to a strong reputation.

“We have an exemplary rating on our school safety from the state resource department,” McComas noted. “For security, they come in and do that in all districts.”

This also includes working closely with local law enforcement.

Just as well, helping kids understand potential risks involved is a priority.

“A lot of times, kids want to be polite, and that’s how your trained growing up is to open doors for people,” McComas said. “We do a regular job of making sure kids know safety protocols.”

To take preventative action, measures are in place if ever a threat is made or there’s other reason to believe potential harm may come.

This includes launching investigations while vetting information to clarify its reliability.

And, communication has been key to keeping all involved.

This includes contacting family members, along with a slew of others – even the county attorney depending on circumstances.

Even unfounded threats are taken seriously,

“When [this information] comes to our attention, it’s usually with some evidence from students or parents,” McComas said. “We’ve got great parents in our community. They’re very aware.”

And with such protocols in place, Clark County is prepared for a day that many pray never comes.