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Schools, law enforcement work together

For days local parents of school-age children have anxiously waited for more information from school districts and law enforcement as threat after threat poured in to disrupt the school day at one district, then another … then another. During that time, both school administration and law enforcement have done an outstanding job of keeping the public informed. Their calm, organized readiness has been wonderful to watch.

Systems put in place by the schools worked. Parents were informed quickly with automated texts, calls and social media posts that let them know what was happening — and that their children were safe.

When the first threats came in last week, the training and relationship building between the schools and law enforcement were evident.

“What we’ve all been through in the last 24 hours, Mrs. (Suellen) Coleman is right this is the dream team,” said Superintendent Doug Baldwin in debriefing first with Waterford Elementary staff and then repeated again with the high school staff. “I can’t commend law enforcement enough, our bus drivers … everyone, thank you for your part. Our number one job is to educate, our second is to keep them safe.”

It is certainly not the wrapping up of the school year for which teachers and administrators had hoped.

“I know that learning loss is a term that is thrown around and I think some of the superintendents that I’m in circles with they push back against that sentiment because, yes, there may be some academic learning loss but there’s been a whole lot of grit, persistence, perseverance, adaptation. There’s been tons of loss of learning there,” said Belpre City Schools Superintendent Jeff Greenley. “(Children) are constantly learning, it’s just been different types of things that they’ve been learning.”

Right now what they are learning is that their teachers, administrators and local law enforcement (and even law enforcement in neighboring counties willing to help) are prepared and have a plan. They are learning they can feel confident someone is watching out for them, and is ready to do what is necessary to keep them safe.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for teaching that.

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