Local school district emphasizes safety protocols following deadly Oxford shooting

NOW: Local school district emphasizes safety protocols following deadly Oxford shooting

COLOMA, Mich. ---The tragedy at Oxford High School that happened just hours away from Michiana, prompted some local school districts like Coloma Community Schools to speak up about their own safety protocols, and encourage parents and students to do the same when they see or hear something.

“That’s a terrible thing, parents send their kids to school with reasonable expectation that they get them home at night so that’s a big deal for us. We just want to remind our parents that it takes everybody,” said David Ehlers, the Superintendent for Coloma Community School District.

Following the devastating events at Oxford High School Tuesday afternoon, Ehlers reminding students and parents about their own safety protocols while working to improve them.

“We’re looking at our procedures, looking at our training protocols. We’re fortunate that we have a very tight working relationship with our Township Police Department and school resource officer,” said Ehlers. “So, we will sit down and look at some of the things that we do and try to do them better.”

ABC57 was told all 13 school districts in Berrien County have active shooter plans in place.

The schools coordinate with the Sheriff’s Department to have their plans reviewed every year and updated if needed. They include active shooting drills and specialized law enforcement training.

“Each one of them have a plan on an active shooter on how to secure the kids in the room, how to evacuate them after the incident is under control, how to contact parents and have staging areas…”said Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey.

Sheriff Bailey said he hopes that the drills and training are only ever used for practice, but if that call really came, he said all 21 police agencies in the county will be ready.

 “True team, our tactical team puts on training once a year for a different department to come in and go through the training all day usually we do that in the summer months when we can get a school, added Sheriff Bailey. “So, we know where to go in and can find that door if that’s where the incident is occurring so we don’t have to look around to see where we need to gain entry if there’s an active shooter we’re going in as soon as we can. We’re not waiting we’re going in and we’re going to move forward to take that shooter out.”

Officials are always encouraging both students and parents to say something if they see or hear something, which can be done anonymously through Michigan’s tip-line at 8-555-OK2SAY or click here.

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