Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
Our parents send their children to school 180 times each year. Along with the hugs and kisses on the forehead in the morning is a little prayer to be safe until they arrive back home. Parents entrust us with their children, and the safety of those children is our No. 1 priority.
We recently added some safety measures that are quite obvious, while other ones aren’t so noticeable. I will mention a few of these initiatives; however, there are some that we won’t talk about because they are designed to be unseen as another layer of protection to safeguard our students and staff.
If you attended Friday’s football game, you may have seen Anthony McGavock and William Tharpe from the Perry Township Schools Police Department patrolling parking lots and areas around the stadium on their bicycles. Their presence helps maintain the safety of people walking to and from the games. Overall, the district’s 10 full-time officers watch over more than 15,000 students and almost 2,000 staff members.
A part of securing our schools is to monitor who enters and exists the buildings. People entering a school must enter through the office, where they sign in. The school board was the first in the area to have secured entrance areas installed in its schools.
The officers serve many functions. They walk the hallways, check for secure doors, conduct perimeter checks and monitor student movement on a continual basis. They are visible and mobile.
Since we have 40-plus trailers on-site at our schools, two officers are assigned the responsibility to specifically monitor our elementary schools. Thanks to the community’s support, the construction of permanent classrooms will enable us to remove every trailer by August 2017.
An additional security measure that we have in place is our K-9 unit. These dogs conduct locker, classroom and random vehicle checks. Demonstrations are conducted at the elementary schools during Red Ribbon Week to reinforce our proactive approach in keeping your children from harm.
Our police officers are busy. They monitor the safety of children on buses, investigate bus accidents and monitor school speed zones as well as stop arm violations. This community is helpful in reporting any suspicious individuals around our buildings, and our police officers immediately follow up on those reports.
Our officers are professionals who have a wide range of backgrounds in law enforcement. Police who work in schools must possess a specialized set of skills that is effective in working with children. Each officer has been hand-selected to keep your children safe. We are extremely fortunate to live in a community that cares so deeply about their children and one another.