Safety Committee Evaluates Protocol After Gun Incident

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

At a roundtable discussion, the Ingham and Eaton County Safe Schools Committee was proud to congratulate Dansville superintendent and staff for avoiding crisis.

"We never expected it, but you always hav to be prepared for it," said Dansville School District superintendent Amy Hodgson.

Two middle school students notified staff that another male student had a handgun hidden in his locker. Staff immediately contacted authorities and followed the emergency protocol they practiced so well.

"The principal immediately locked that floor down and then proceeded to lockdown the entire ditrict," said Hodgson.

"Everything was contained. There wasn't histeria or people running around. We walked into a very calm situation. Quite frankly that was good for law enforcement," said Major Joe Maatman of the Ingham County Sheriff's Department.

Only two officers needed to respond, but the safety committee says there are serious lessons to be learned.

"I think the lesson learned is that they practice, practice, practice," said Maatman.

The committee is now looking at how law enforcement agencies and school districts can pool together resources if a larger situation were to errupt.

"I think what happened in dansville can happen anywhere. The key is that we are all prepared to handle it," said principal Rick Couturier of Washington Woods Elementary School in Holt School District.

The Safe Schools Committee will send letters to every superintendent in Ingham and Eaton county this week on the importance of being prepared.The committee is now applying for a $20,000 grant to produce a new training video. The video would focus on how to re-unite students with parents after an emergency.

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