The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

June 12, 2013

Active-shooter drills advised for state schools

CHARLESTON — Every West Virginia school should practice responding to a gunman’s attack at least annually, as part of a plan to guard against violence, the top prosecutor for the state’s southern federal court district said Tuesday.

Besides active-shooter drills, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin outlined other steps such as shatter-resistant windows, classroom doors that lock quickly and anti-bullying programs during the two-day KidStrong Conference arranged by the state Department of Education.

The recommendations come from a new report drawn from a summit on school safety held in February. The subject has gotten a closer look following the December massacre of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“We were going for practical, local steps that people can take,” Goodwin said after his presentation. “A lot of these things, people can pick up community by community, school by school.”

The 10-item critical list detailed in the report also includes a single and locked entry point for each school, an emergency alarm system that can warn the entire campus as well as first responders and a system for informing parents and other schools quickly. A Prevention Resource Officer Corps to provide active and retired law enforcement and veterans to schools and a statewide program for identifying and reaching out to potentially violent students are also among the recommendations.

State school officials have been pursuing such measures. Thirty-two of West Virginia’s 55 county school systems have Prevention Resource Officers at more than 60 middle and high schools through a U.S. Justice Department program, according to state figures. These officers spend at least 35 hours each week at their school, and also provide training.

Citing how the state has more than 700 public schools, Goodwin said the corps recommendation envisions enlisting “those still interested in giving back to their communities but are retired from their careers” to increase the scope and effectiveness of the program.

Last week, the state School Building Authority approved new building standards that include shatter-resistant glass, separate visitor entrance and waiting areas, and offices that allow administrators a direct view of a school’s parking lot. Other features for new schools include doors that can be remotely closed and locked to separate the main entrance from such common areas as a cafeteria, and common areas from classrooms.

The new report is available online, on a website that also offers guidelines for performing an active-shooter drill and evaluating the results, Goodwin said.

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads