DCSD's Policy on Safe Schools

DCSD's Policy on Safe Schools
Posted on 08/29/2019
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Dear Douglas County Community,

Over the past few days, we have received many questions about Douglas County School District’s Board of Education Policy on Safe Schools (ADD), and specifically, whether or not staff members can be armed at our schools.

As the safety of our students is a top priority in the Douglas County School District, we want to explain more about this policy.

Policy ADD directs the Superintendent to develop and maintain a safe schools plan that incorporates 18 key components. These components range from (but are not limited to) providing supervision and security of school grounds, check in procedures for visitors, training for staff and students on emergency response protocols - including practice drills, procedures for safe and confidential reporting of safety concerns, and procedures for the employment, training and use of armed security officers. Each building principal is responsible for implementing the safe schools plan at his or her school. Policy ADD applies to both district-run schools and charter schools.

When it comes to the issue of arming staff -- Douglas County School District absolutely supports the best practice of having dedicated, armed security in place at schools. In accordance with Policy ADD, armed security personnel must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed solely for security purposes
  • Be P.O.S.T. certified (certified by Peace Officer Standards and Training)

In addition, DCSD security staff are uniformed and not allowed to conceal their weapons while engaging in their duties.

Douglas County School District does not support the arming of any staff member who is not a dedicated security officer. In addition, we do not support the concealment of arms by our dedicated security personnel. DCSD’s approach is designed to ensure that law enforcement knows who is armed -- and who is not -- in the case of an emergency, such as an active shooter situation. This is critical for the safety of students, staff, and law enforcement personnel during a crisis. We have a cohesive partnership with all of our local law enforcement agencies.

A School Resource Officer (SRO) is assigned to each of our comprehensive neighborhood high schools. New this year, we added a School Resource Officer to each of our comprehensive neighborhood middle schools. SROs are armed, uniformed law enforcement personnel. At our elementary schools, an officer or deputy makes multiple unannounced daily visits as part of the School Marshal Program (SMP). SMPs are also armed, uniformed law enforcement personnel.

DCSD’s security team also includes armed area managers, as well as campus security officers.

DCSD believes in a multi-tiered, comprehensive approach to school safety. This includes:  physical security of our facilities, monitoring school culture and climate, promoting mental/behavioral health, conducting threat assessments, enhancing bystander response and reporting (e.g. Safe2Tell and Text-a-Tip programs), and information sharing between schools and outside social services agencies.

Should you have any questions about Douglas County School District’s Safe Schools Policy, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Douglas County School District

David Ray
Board President
Douglas County School District

                                     

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