Increased Scrutiny Follows Nashville Shooting
MINOT – In the wake of a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this week school administrators are reviewing their safety protocols, as well as reminding all students, parents, and citizens to remain observant and report any concerns they may have for student safety.
At Minot’s Bishop Ryan Catholic School Father Jadyn Nelson, school president, said his “prayers are obviously for the people of Nashville who are going through a horrible tragedy”, adding “I’m not surprised anymore, in the sense that this is something we’ve been dealing with since I was a child. Everybody is having to adapt to the changing dynamics of society and the different threats that are out there.”
Minot Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Vollmer noted that MPS has school resource officers in “many buildings”, and that the school system works closely with Minot Police for school security.
“We have secured our entrances and exits. We have taken many, many precautions, including practicing with the staff with what that might look like in the event it would happen,” said Vollmer. “We take every precaution that we believe is appropriate and just pray that it never happens here.”
Fr. Nelson said similar precautionary measures are in place at Bishop Ryan.
“We have a comprehensive emergency management plan that takes active threats into consideration,” explained Nelson. “These events are opportunities for us to put fresh eyes on those plans and to reassess them to make sure that we do everything we can to have a safe environment for our children, faculty, and staff.”
In a sign of the times, school security has come to the forefront for administrators, teachers, and students alike. That is evident at Our Redeemer’s Christian School in Minot where Jeff Ringstad, school administrator, says preparation for such an event as the one in Nashville is ongoing.
“This recent shooting, very tragic. However, it isn’t the first. We have been prepared and been working on our plan,” said Ringstad. “Over the years it has been altered and changed as the climate in schools and these shootings change. We’ve been working with the Department of Homeland Defense to make our school as safe as we are able to and still conduct the business that goes on in a school and church.”
Jacob Jenkins, Berthold Public School principal, had the following reaction to the Nashville school shooting.
“Anytime there’s a school shooting we are concerned, of course,” said Jenkins. “Our primary goal is for students to be safe. We want our kids to be able to come here free of being worried and scared. We do our best to create an atmosphere that is safe and protective of our kids.”
Remaining vigilant is a big part of any school safety program. Vollmer encouraged parents and citizens to do their part for student safety.
“We encourage people to report if there are any strange comments or fears out there so they can be investigated,” said Vollmer.
Fr. Nelson noted that concerned parents and students at Bishop Ryan are beneficial to helping keep a watchful presence for possible risks, and voiced optimism for a solution to school violence.
“We need to rally together and recognize how we can best reduce the risk of these things happening in the future,” said Nelson.