CARMEL, Ind.—Carmel Clay Schools has taken steps to improve safety for its 16,000 students.
All this week, RTV6 is looking at school safety and finding out what leaders are doing to keep students safe from threats, both internal and external.
Christine Ramsey has three kids in the Carmel Clay school district, including two at the high school and one at Clay Middle School.
Ramsey is also the head of the Carmel High School Parent Teacher Organization and thinks about school safety a lot.
“I can remember I was in the car when the Sandy Hook information came over the radio and just crying," Ramsey said. “That was the first time I thought it could happen to my kids because my kids were the same age."
Carmel Clay schools held a student safety meeting on Aug. 8, in which they outlined the numerous safety measures they have in place, including securing vestibules in school buildings.
Ramsey watched the presentation on Facebook live and learned the district has seven full-time school resource officers, who have all received active shooter training.
Carmel Clay schools also requested and received 30 handheld metal detectors from the state.
“One of the positive things I got out of it is how much they're doing that we don't know about,” Ramsey said. “That makes you feel more secure. They run through scenarios, different tiers of just an external threat, an internal threat. It was more than I thought was going on."
The district follows the ALICE approach, which includes the following:
- ALERT- Initial alert may be a PA announcement, a gunshot, etc.
- LOCKDOWN- If evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points
- INFORM- Communicate real-time information on the shooter’s location
- COUNTER- Distract the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately by making noise, throwing objects and adults swarming the shooter
- EVACUATE- Run from danger when safe to do so using non-traditional exits if necessary
Carmel Clay schools also allows students, parents, and staff to report a threat using the district’s online anonymous alert portal.
The district also recently hired a new tool to help protect its schools. David Woodward headed up school safety for the Indiana Department of Education for 13 years and is now Carmel Clay’s director of student services.
Woodward is helping Carmel Clay to advance its school safety measures and improve its mental health programming.
"When I send them to Carmel, I feel safe,” said Ramsey. “Having said that, i don't think anywhere is completely safe. It's a scary world. "
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