LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Local School District Superintendent Bill Derringer has previously stated the district will not be hosting a school safety meeting this spring, due to the lack of attendance during other district’s safety meetings. He believes fall would be a better time to get the community together. However, he did give a brief safety update to the TCN Board of Education during a meeting on Tuesday, May 15.
“School safety is obviously a hot topic right now. I do want to, next year, hold a Community Safety Forum. I didn’t want to do that in the spring, just because of the lack of turnout the other schools had. I think everyone is so busy with the weather being nice. I think in the fall we would have a much better turnout, but I did want to share some information with you,” Derringer said.
“We have gone through Gebhart Counseling Services the last two or three years. We pay for a mental health therapist who is in our building two days out of the week. The Preble County Mental Health and Recovery Board, through grant funding and some of their funds, they are going to provide three additional days for us. Next year we will have a mental health therapist in our building every day of the school year. That, as a start, is a huge benefit to our kids.”
“I also met with Jeff Sewert, the Village Municipal Manager, and I’ve met numerous times with Chief McGee to discuss a School Resource Officer (SRO) for next year,” Derringer continued. “That is back on the table now. We are looking at that position to add. It would be a shared position between the village and the school district. It would be my goal and intention to have a full time person in the building all time every day.”
Chief McGee already serves in the building as an SRO, so the new position would give TCN two officers in the building (only one on a full time basis). This would allow the school to have someone in the building to help in a crisis situation.
“If there is someone who is armed in our building, I want it to be law enforcement and somebody who has went through an academy to get training,” Derringer said.
The district is also getting quotes for a camera update. They are also looking at getting GoGuardian and Social Sentinal, which are internet monitoring programs. GoGuardian is more localized and only tracks kids when they are in the district. With Social Sentinal, someone in California could threaten TCN and administrators would get notification.
Derringer added, “I won’t belabor the safety thing, but I wanted you to know that it is our top priority.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH