The week after Walworth Jt. School District #1 had a tornado warning that sent students and staff to the school basement and delayed a "soft lockdown" practice for another time, the school is recognizing Safe Schools Week from Oct. 16-22.
"School safety is always on our agenda; it is the most important thing that we do and we do it every moment of every day," said Phill Klamm, district administrator. "Whether it be a tornado warning in October, our monthly fire drills, a committee meeting, or meeting with village leaders such as the chief of police; school safety is always our top priority.
"We are thankful to our community and taxpayers for their support of our emphasis to keep our students, staff and school safe."
Caitlin Dowden, school principal, agreed.
"School safety is always a top priority and something we take extremely seriously through drills, communication and constant evaluation," said Dowden.
Of course, school personnel coordinate safety efforts with law enforcement. That is something Ryan Milligan, the chief of police for the Village of Walworth Police Department, takes very seriously as well.
"Law Enforcement holds many responsibilities. A very important one is providing assistance to schools in providing a safe environment to students and staff, both inside of the school and outside of the school" said Milligan. "To accomplish this, the police department is in regular communication with school officials.
"Some areas where the school and the police department have coordinated for a safer environment are: numerically labeling each side of the school in the event of a critical incident, building securing suggestions, camera suggestions, traffic safety around the school, providing the front office with photos of each officer, suggestions for crossing guard procedures, and officer school walk-throughs, just to name a few."
The week before Safe Schools Week, students had visits from members of the local fire department as well as some younger students going to the fire department. They were able to ride on the fire trucks as well on the way back to school. Again, safety at school and when not in school was emphasized to the students.