ADAMS TOWNSHIP– The Clinton-Massie Local School District is taking a stand against school violence.
In light of the most recent school violence at a high school in Florida, Clinton-Massie students, staff and administration took time this past Wednesday to discuss, reflect, remember — and take a stand against all school violence and bullying.
Superintendent Matt Baker asked students and staff to wear black shirts on Wednesday to honor and remember the students and staff who recently lost their lives during the Florida school shooting.
In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to openly discuss and express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns with their teachers about school safety, violence and bullying
The high school and middle school students and staff then gathered in the high school gymnasium to stand united against school violence. A brief video produced by the Sandy Hook Promise was shown to encourage students to watch for signs of potential violence.
Next, Clinton County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Robert Gates spoke about school safety and bullying.
School Social Worker Rachel Sams then spoke about the staff, services and resources students have available to them if they have any mental health concerns, struggles, or other problems.
According to Sams, “It has been an empowering two weeks of listening and engaging with students and teachers to identify how we can help every student feel included in our schools and connect the students who need it with mental health supports.”
Baker then took to the microphone with a passionate plea to the students, requesting, “If you see something, say something!”
Students were encouraged and are welcome to speak with any staff member including teachers, aides, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, and even the superintendent if they have any concerns about themselves, other students, or school safety.
The students and staff remembered and honored the lives most recently lost to school violence with a moment of silence. Finally, before returning to class, the students and staff gathered together on the gymnasium floor and locked arms to show that they are united in their stand against school violence.
Clinton-Massie has taken a proactive approach to school safety, even in light of current budget constraints. Some of the safety initiatives implemented at Clinton-Massie in recent years include a full-time CCSO School Resource Officer.
CCSO Deputy Danny Wood serves as the School Resource Officer. Wood not only provides increased security through a law enforcement presence at the schools, he also builds relationships with the students through the D.A.R.E. program and other activities.
The district’s safety advisory team was formed several years ago by then parent and community member, now teacher Dann Sternsher. “The safety advisory team reviews and provides input regarding safety concerns and improvements,” he said.
The team has members representing the teachers, administration, board of education, Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton-County Emergency Management, and the community. This has resulted in several safety improvements and ongoing review of all matters related to school safety.
Additional school safety measures have included:
• A.L.I.C.E. training for all staff
• New emergency procedure sheets in every classroom
• Automated External Defibrillators in every building and the Sports Complex
• More secure building entrances
• Visitor background check and badge system
• Upgraded and additional video surveillance cameras
• Full-time school social worker to aide students and provide mental health support.
The district plans to continue striving toward providing the safest possible environment for students, staff, and the community. A community forum about school safety and preventing school violence is being planned for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8.
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