Recent Violence Has Local Schools Reviewing Security Procedures

By Anne Marshall

(LOUISVILLE) -- In the last couple of weeks, three tragedies have unfolded on school campuses across the country. The most recent was in Pennsylvania, where a gunman stormed a schoolhouse and killed five Amish schoolgirls and wounded five others before killing himself. On Tuesday local school security officers brushed up on new emergency protocol. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall reports.

On Tuesday, with students out of school, staff took time out to look over ways of watching for danger and how to react.

JCPS Security Director Stan Mullen says with all the violence in schools around the country in the last few weeks, security officers, school resource officers, and counselors are all eager to master the district emergency plans.

"Everybody is more serious, more conscientious about security awareness," Mullen says.

Right now district protocol requires every school to have a certain level of security. "We have five levels of security," Mullen says.

Level one is the lowest; level five is a complete lockdown with lights off and students under their desks. Level two is considered normal. Since October 2, all Jefferson County schools have been at level three.

"With what's happened around the country, parents are more concerned about security," Mullen says, "and we're concerned about copycats."

Under a level three, all doors are locked except for one main entrance that's monitored. All guests have to sign in and be escorted around the building. Also, recess is held indoors, and if students are let out security personnel are keeping an eye on them.

It's up to principals to decide how long level three will stay in place...for now 145 security personnel will return to schools Wednesday, with knowledge they hope they'll never have to use.

Says Mullen: "if there is an emergency, they will know how to deal with the emergency effectively."