St. Clair R-XIII School District officials continue to work toward making their facilities as safe and secure as possible in this age of all-too-frequent shooting incidents.
Board of education members were given the latest details on an intruder training scheduled for later in the month as well as options to purchase bulletproof safety glass that can be placed on school doors and windows.
The intruder training is scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 27, at St. Clair Elementary School. That day is a professional development day at the school so there are no classes for students.
District administrators have been working with Sgt. Donnie Dunn and Chief Bill Hammack of the St. Clair Police Department to organize the active shooter training. Two sessions are planned, and each will feature an armed “intruder” who will enter the building.
Information from the district states that as part of the training, blank rounds of gunshots may be fired in hallways and/or classrooms.
“The goal of this training is for the St. Clair school district staff to practice our active shooter lockdown procedures in a real-life intruder situation,” Assistant Superintendent Mark Denbow said.
Staff members will participate in both sessions. An administrative debriefing will follow.
Superintendent Mike Murphy is scheduled to issue a phone blast to parents at 11:30 a.m. that day to remind parents of the training. According to information from the district, the blast will say that an active shooter training will take place that afternoon and that “there is no need for alarm.”
“This is for training purposes only so that our staff and the St. Clair Police Department will be as prepared as possible in case of an actual emergency,” the phone blast script reads.
School personnel will follow their lockdown and active shooter procedures as identified in the district’s crisis management plan.
Board members also watched a video demonstration by Sullivan-based Bleeding Edge Engineered Systems about the use of its safety glass product.
“The company came and did a walk-through with us,” Murphy said. “They have a very unique and interesting product, and I feel the board should be made aware of it.”
Murphy did say it costs about $200 per square foot to install.
Bleeding Edge works with the ultra-polymeric engineered technology and carries the safety glass.
The video showed Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Schmidt firing 210 rounds of ammunition into a “School Shield” window and not penetrating the glass, thus not allowing access.
“This is just another example of a product available that can enhance school safety,” Murphy said.
There was no action taken by the board, but it may discuss it further during a future meeting.