In response to the school shooting at Perry Hall High School in late August, The Dagger asked Harford County Public Schools to provide an overview of safety measures in county school buildings. Sadly, this issue is relevant again today with the horrific shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. Below is the overview provided at the time by HCPS:
1. Each school has a critical incident plan and drills are conducted every year to ensure that the plan can be executed effectively.
2. Harford County Public Schools has an excellent working relationship with local and state fire, police, and EMS. Active-shooter drills are conducted with key players to practice the role of each agency in an emergency.
3. HCPS Administrators have been trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) program. NIMS is an emergency preparedness program created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
4. All schools are locked down with a visitor management system in place to help ensure that all buildings remain safe.
5. A School Resource Officer is assigned to each high school. Those officers also serve the feeder elementary and middle schools.
6. Weapons of any kind are not allowed on school property or buses.