Fayette County school officials have spelled out timelines for components of the system’s 10 point comprehensive safety investment plan. It came Monday evening during a school board planning meeting.
Fayette County Schools Police Chief Martin Schafer says hiring and placement of new officers will take place in November and December with the priority being Middle Schools. In all, 54 officers will be hired. Current school law enforcement personnel participated in an active shooter training exercise this summer. Schafer says incoming officers will have undergone similar training. “What we find that is a perishable skill, so we’ve committed to doing this every summer, at least, if not more, so we have that recurring training that we’re fresh on active shooter response,” said Schafer.
Metal detectors at all high schools are expected to be in place by spring break with middle schools to follow the next year. Every school will have a nurse with a comprehensive health assessment and service for students in place the first of the year.
Fayette Schools Spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall says the model being considered has shown a 50% reduction in risk taking behavior. It’s also seen student suicides fall to zero. “You can’t really pigeon hole it and call it just a safety effort. This is something that is going to dramatically improve the overall wellness of our adolescents,” explained Deffendall.
The yearly $13 million school safety program is being paid for by a new 5 cent property tax.