Brainerd Schools Talk About Threat Protocol
After a school shooting in Florida claimed the lives of 17 people, the Brainerd School District is taking time to reflect and review their own threat protocol.
In response to a school shooting, it is common for the school districts to pause, gather information and reflect on their own buildings.
“We’re really looking at our schools, protocols and what we can do by working with parents and talking through what our protocols are to keep kids safe is something we continuously do, but especially after we experience these devastating issues,” said Aaron Sinclair, Brainerd Schools Asst. Superintendent.
At the high school, there are measures in place such as cameras, security monitoring and even a school resource officer, who keeps his squad car parked out front all day.
“I’m in the hallways every minute that I can, and I’m in the building 98.9 percent of the time, so hopefully that in itself is considered a deterrent,” said Troy Schreifels, the Brainerd High School Resource Officer.
But if there were to be a threatening situation, the school has a protocol in place known as “ALICE” which stands for alert, lock down, initiate, counter or evacuate.
“So anytime we have a threat on the campus here, it’s using plain language and anybody can get on a radio or a phone and it’s broadcasted out saying listen we have a threat in the building,” Schreifels said.
Then, based on training, the staff and even students decide what action to take.
“We give them information, not to alarm them or to raise their concern, but so that they know what the plan is,” said Andrea Rusk, Brainerd High School Principal.
One of the things Brainerd Schools are continuing to look at is how to best monitor who is coming through the doors.
“How can we do a better job of securing our entrances during the school day to keep students and staff protected and safe,” Sinclair said.
Questions like these are exactly what the district hopes to have answered with their upcoming referendum. But until then, they want to keep an open dialogue with the students.
“Well, I think it is natural for students to ask questions and be aware of what is going on around them,” Rusk said. “They live in a very digital age, so they get news quickly, and so we encourage our teachers to talk with the students, answer questions and share concerns with us, the administration, so that we can address them.”
The safety team plans to meet next week to review and update procedures as needed.