Security throughout the Warren County R-III School District was increased this week in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
According to Superintendent Dr. Tom Muzzey, additional patrols around schools have been conducted by the Warrenton Police Department and detectives will be on hand this Friday as a precaution.
“It should be an extremely safe day on Friday,” Muzzey stated. “It will probably be the safest day of the year.”
Muzzey said district parents have been monitoring social media, such as Facebook, and while there have been numerous rumors, no “credible threats” have been identified.
“We’ve gotten a lot of calls, but nothing has been tracked to an individual,” he asserted, noting that finals also are under way this week.
Muzzey said district officials have been in regular contact with the Warrenton Police Department. However, if people hear anything which could be perceived as a potential threat, he urges people to contact the school district or local authorities.
“We encourage people to share that information with us or our law enforcement agencies,” he stated.
Crisis intervention is reviewed regularly by administrators and staff to help ensure the district’s students have a safe learning environment, Muzzey said.
On Thursday, Muzzey attended a safety summit in St. Louis which was offered to help area school officials to have a better understanding what to do if a situation similar to the Newtown shooting were to occur.
“We feel like we’re strong in some areas (of crisis intervention), but we can always improve,” he said.
All schools in the Warren County School District are equipped with systems which require people entering the buildings to be “buzzed in,” Muzzey said.
The district also conducts an “intruder drill” a minimum of once each quarter, he added.
“We talk to teachers and students about what to do if a potential intruder were to enter a building,” Muzzey said. “We take these situations very seriously.”
Muzzey noted that he believes district staff has been “appropriately trained” to handle a crisis situation.