Taney County law enforcement and school administrators recently gathered together at the Hollister School District with a common goal in mind: to discuss how to keep students and staff safe.
School administration, along with representatives from the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, Hollister Police Department, Western Taney County Fire, Taney County Ambulance District and the City of Hollister met in the administrative building on the Hollister School District campus to collaborate, share plans and discuss resources.
Hollister Assistant Superintendent of District Operations Sean Woods began the day by giving a brief overview of the history of school violence. Woods discussed techniques the school district has implemented, as well as partnerships it has formed in recent years to take a proactive approach to school safety.
A scenario was presented, which involved a missing student who had yet to arrive home after school. School administrators and the various emergency agencies broke out into groups to discuss how each entity would react to this situation, what their first and next steps would be, what resources they would need, and any challenges or limitations they may face. The groups then come back together to share.
“The goal of this exercise,” Woods said, “Is to get everyone talking and sharing ideas. What is something that maybe Forsyth is doing that Hollister is not that could make us better tomorrow than we are today?”
Following the same format as the morning exercise, the afternoon was spent working through an active shooter scenario.
“We owe it to our students, to our teachers, our staff, our parents, and our families to do all we can to keep everyone safe and to send them home at the end of each day,” Woods said, when discussing the adoption of a new emergency alert system. “I would rather have 1,000 false alarms than one tragedy where I hadn’t done everything I could have done to prevent it.”
A press release from the Hollister School District stated the students, teachers, staff, and families of Taney County have school administrators, SROs, law enforcement, emergency responders, and government officials who will do whatever it takes to keep them safe, and the collaborative event held will not be the last for the group of individuals who attended.
For more information visit www.hollister.k12.mo.us or call (417) 243-4000.
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