Board Allows Parent To Address Concerns, Safety Measures Discussed
Moriah Peterson, story and photos: firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety was a topic of concern at Monday's school board meeting, held at Edmonson County High School. Student parent Marty Cassady of Chalybeate, who also has deep family roots in education and the Edmonson County School District, spoke before the board about “keeping all options on the table when it comes to protecting our children.”
Moments before Mr. Cassady spoke, High School Principal Tommy Hodges played a video that recapped the school year at the high school. The presentation was mostly a slideshow of pictures but the last clip was a video of Edmonson County students shouting that they are “Marshall Strong,” which was a reference to the Marshall County, Kentucky school shooting that took place in January.
Cassady’s opening statement to the school board was “I never want to hear another county saying they are Edmonson Strong.” He continued by saying, “I’m looking for preventative measures to discourage violence as well as active measures to confront the violence within seconds if heaven forbid, it were to occur.”
Cassady also referenced a recent Edmonson Voice Poll that asked, “Would you feel that Edmonson County schools would be safer if a selected number of teachers and staff were armed?” 66% of those voting said 'YES.'
During the meeting, Superintendent Patrick Waddell referenced 28 different safety measures that are in the process of being implemented into Edmonson County schools to increase school safety. Some of which are already in place. These processes are categorized by training, procedural, and items purchased to increase safety.
Specifics included door buzzers that would require all visitors to buzz in before entering the school, safety film for the windows, all interior doors remaining locked, and the school resource officer’s hours have already been increased to full time. The officer will be present during lunch hours and will monitor halls during class transitions.
The board concluded by saying they always appreciate when people bring those concerns to the board, as that's the reason they are there.
"I think Mr. Cassady had valid points and school safety and the safety of our kids has always been a priority,” said Mr. Waddell. “We feel that we have a safe school district and we feel that we have staff that would do anything in their power to protect our students. We encourage parents to check social media accounts and that if anyone sees inappropriate content or has concerns that they report it to myself, any board member, and school staff. We do stay in touch with Sheriff Shane Doyle and we investigate everything that is brought to our attention.”