The sober truth: Safety top priority for our schools

Last week’s South Williamsport Area School Board meeting included a report by Superintendent Dr. Mark Stamm on facility safety and security and changes to the emergency response plan.

The sad reality is that such a report – an afterthought 30 years ago – is an absolute essential today.

Facility safety, security and emergency response plans are the elephant in the room at every school these days. No one likes to talk about these things, but all school administrators, teachers and parents know that security of students must always be in the forefront of their thinking.

In South Williamsport, there are training updates planned for staff on how to handle an active shooter or shooting occurring on district grounds.

The district is in constant contact with borough police, who have computer access to surveillance cameras situated throughout district buildings.

The district holds a “lockdown” drill three times a year and has emergency plans in place that are readily available to parents to read in information the district distributes at the start of each school year.

None of this is said to prompt panic about South Williamsport or any other local schools. It is said in the name of necessary awareness that the safety of our region’s school children deserves a daily accounting.

There are no guarantees on school safety. But there are plans, and daily vigilance to those plans is the best way to prevent a tragedy.

Schools throughout the region will be opening soon. We trust every district is treating safety and emergency preparedness with the same seriousness as South Williamsport.