Our Safety Committee met this afternoon to begin the review and evaluation of our current intruder/lock down plans and procedures. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy we made the decision to expand the committee to include the building principals for this review so we had over twenty people attending. Thanks to Sean Kelly the meeting also included Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison, Maple Valley Police Chief Michelle Bennett, King County Sheriff John Urquhart, Officer Sam Shirley, Fire Chief Brad Doerflinger, and Jacques Imperial representing U.S. Representative Dave Reichert's office.
We tasked the representatives with the responsibility to review the current practices in every building and department in the system to identify our current reality. This includes training, policies and procedures related to before, during and after an incident, coordination with other agencies before and during an incident, and communication throughout the process. This information will be the foundation for conversations in our school community about other measures that we should consider as we identify what "safe" looks and sounds like in our schools and buildings.
The conversation this afternoon was productive, resulting in a better understanding of the questions and concerns of our parents, concerns of staff with problems already identified in our buildings, and some possibilities to pursue for an increased presence by city and county officers in our schools. It is a good beginning to a necessary process as we struggle to balance access and safety issues with the welcoming cultures that we have come to expect in our schools.