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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Committee delves further into security

Friday, May 4, 2007

On Thursday, members of the Putnam County Safe Schools Committee not only discussed a recent lockdown at the South Putnam Community School Corp., but a bomb scare at Northview High School and North Clay Middle School in Clay County earlier this week and what it could do to better secure area county schools.

At its monthly meeting Thursday, South Putnam High School Assistant Principal and committee member Dan Bain told other members that while there were some errors at the lockdown South Putnam experienced April 23, mostly everything went according to plan.

"It was one of those things that went from one stage to another level quickly," Bain told the members Thursday.

SPCSC adminstrators locked the school down April 23 after a bag containing an anonymous note among other items was found at a home in the school district.

The note in the package indicated a threat to teachers, but no teachers were named. In fact, the note did not indicate a specific threat to any SPCSC teacher or administrator.

Bain told the safe school members Thursday that the corporation was in lockdown for 75 minutes and added the response from local law enforcement was "excellent."

"You have to take is seriously," Bain said.

Committee member and Old National Trail teacher Tom Standers was on his way to the school on April 23 when the lockdown took place. On Thursday, he told Bain he believed the corporation handled the situation well.

"From the outside looking in, I would say you did a great job," Standers said.

"Our parents and kids handled it real well," Bain said.

However, Bain said he hoped to set up a communication "tree" in the future to better prepare administrators, law enforcement and emergency responders in order to keep them all on the same page.

Recently, the safe school committee -- in conjunction with area emergency responders -- conducted a mock disaster drill at Greencastle High School in preparation for the school's prom.

While the drill was a success, committee member and Putnam County Emergency Management Association Director Kim Hyten said Thursday he hoped future drills would be enacted like what SPCSC experienced in April.

"We've never had a lockdown scenario like that," Hyten said. "I'd like to see us step up and practice this in the fall."

The committee members then discussed a situation that took place in Brazil earlier this week when school officials learned of a possible bomb scare and a threat of a possible shooting.

Bain said he wanted all Putnam County schools to be on the same page regarding when a lockdown was necessary and if parents would be allowed to pick up their children during a lockdown.

"From my little side of the world, let's have (all county corporations) decide on the same thing," Hyten said. "To me, a lockdown is a lockdown. At least we know everyone is in this square box."

The committee did not make a decision regarding the matter.

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