In the last week, three Butler County schools were forced to react to alleged violent threats or rumors, leading in one case to the arrest of a 14-year-old.
Monroe Schools was the latest as it increased armed police officer presence at its schools Thursday after a junior high student allegedly made a threat Wednesday.
Thursday’s classes saw more officers at Monroe’s two school campuses, but officials said there were no incidents after they worked with city police to remove a student suspected of making the threat.
And earlier this week saw Edgewood Schools increase its armed school resource officers (SROs) in response to a rumored threat.
Last week, Fairfield school officials said a 14-year-old was arrested in connection to his threat to “shoot up” the Fairfield Freshman School.
All three districts have worked to prepare plans for such incidents and that is key, according to a national expert on school security.
“We see the most success when school threat assessment and crisis teams conduct facilitated tabletop exercises to work through hypothetical threat scenarios before there is a real crisis,” said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland-based National School Safety and Security Services.
“The time to develop comfort with your threat assessment practices is not the day when you receive your first threat. School leaders need to make sure they assess and then react, not react and then assess. Far too many schools have premature and/or unnecessary evacuations and closures due to a lack of threat assessment.”
The three school systems were also among the five that last fall joined forces in putting a school security tax hike on the November 2018 ballot that, if approved by voters, would have meant millions of dollars more for hiring more armed police officers, increasing security technology and adding school mental health counselors for troubled students who may be prone to violence.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed tax increase.
This summer saw Butler County’s largest, joint security drill involving all public school systems held on the campus of Ross Schools. The active shooter drills included participation of the Butler County Sheriff as well as numerous local police, fire and EMS squads.
Monroe School officials praised the city’s police in helping to handle its threat on Thursday’s classes.
“School is in session today and everything is going well,” wrote Monroe officials in a statement released to social media.
“Out of an abundance of precaution we do have an increased police presence in our schools today. We sincerely appreciate the Monroe Police Department’s support and their tremendous job in addressing this issue quickly.”
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