Starke County School Officials to Work Together on Improving School Safety

Last week’s school shooting in Florida has prompted Starke County school officials to work together to improve students’ safety.

Knox Superintendent Dr. William Reichhart told the school board Tuesday that he’s been coordinating safety discussions with the Starke County prosecutor. “Nick Bourff has come in and met with me this week and said, ‘How can I help?’ And so we are pulling all of the school safety specialists in the county together, and we’re going to meet right here in about a week, and our principals and our staff will be here, as well. And we’re going to be reviewing what can we do here in Starke County to make it even safer than what it is.”

At Knox Community Schools, Reichhart said students already take part in state-mandated evacuation, fire, and tornado drills. “We also have a school safety committee that’s represented,” he said. “Each teacher has a school safety plan, this is what you do in this particular situation.”

He added that one of the big concerns at Knox is adding secure entrances to the three school buildings in the coming years. They would require visitors to pass through the school office, before they can get into the rest of the building.

But Reichhart said that unfortunately, all these precautions may not be able to deal with every possible situation. “I’m going to tell you that I can’t guarantee that your students here are always going to be safe,” he said. “I mean, it’s our number-one priority, but I can’t put my life on the line and say that they’re always going to come home every night. We have crazy people in this world, and unfortunately, we may have some crazy people living here in Knox. That could happen and could affect us.”

He says teachers and administrators always have to have common sense to be able to react to every situation that might occur.