The safety of our community’s children is the only responsibility entrusted to the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local School District more important than their academic growth. While our district continues to engage national and local subject matter experts to implement best practices for prevention of an active shooting, we recognize the response time of a trained, capable responder is the single most critical factor in saving lives once a mass casualty event begins.
When House Bill 99 goes into effect September 12, 2022, it authorizes school boards to allow staff members to be permitted to convey weapons into a school safety zone with proper training from the Ohio mobile training team, and approval from the school board. In order to develop a layered and balanced safety approach, the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Board of Education authorized on September 8, 2022, the creation of a highly vetted and highly trained Active Shooter Response Team consisting of volunteer staff members.
We believe once our Active Shooter Response Team is in place, our comprehensive safety protocols will Deter, Detect, Deny, and Defeat anyone intending to harm our students or staff. Comprehensive measures include, but are not limited to: technology that monitors usage of district devices for warning signs or other threats, ALICE active shooter response training and drills, door lock mechanisms for all classrooms, a new electronic visitor management system that conducts near-real-time background checks, a state-of-the-art camera system that provides instant remote access to law enforcement, raising awareness of the Ohio School Center Tipline, multiple suicide and violence prevention initiatives such as school Hope Squads, the Handle with Care program, de-escalation training from the Crisis Prevention Institute, and many other mental health services both within our district and through strategic external partnerships.
Volunteer Active Shooter Response Team candidates must choose to submit an application, undergo an interview process, pass a thorough background check and mental health screening, complete at least forty hours of training (which exceeds the twenty-four hours required by the State of Ohio and matches the amount of firearm training required to serve as an armed Court Officer, Bailiff, or Probation Officer in the State of Ohio), as well as additional annual training requirements and qualifications.
The Board of Education recognizes the necessity of protecting the confidentiality and operational security of some details of our school safety plan to ensure its effectiveness. However, please know that no teachers will be permitted to carry firearms on their person in classrooms. Only highly-vetted, highly-trained, authorized volunteer staff team members will be able to access firearms to defend the precious lives of our staff and children.
This letter serves as official notice as required by Ohio law. If you have any questions regarding building security, we encourage you to please share your thoughts with us as your child’s safety and well-being are always of primary concern.
Please see the Resolution here:
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Board of Education