At OTHS, the safety of students and staff is our utmost priority. Recent incidents cause all of us at OTHS to take pause and to evaluate our current safety plans and procedures, as well as the overall security of our facilities. Each incident of violence in schools provides new insights into security. Accordingly, our efforts to enhance safety protocols at OTHS are diligent and continuous.
The OTHS safety team engages in ongoing meetings and planning in an effort to identify any potential areas of vulnerability on our campuses. Given recent events, the safety team and administration are engaged in daily communications and planning regarding security and safety protocols. OTHS works closely with local law enforcement on safety plans and procedures. We are appreciative of our partnership with the O’Fallon Police Department and the resources and guidance they provide. The O’Fallon Police Department is in the process of implementing a cell phone application that can be used by students to report issues directly to the police. It is expected that this application will be available in upcoming months.
Recently, the OTHS safety team has been evaluating whether changes to current OTHS safety plans or facilities are needed. The OTHS faculty and staff have gone through active shooter training on multiple occasions. The faculty and staff receive email reminders regularly on safety procedures and protocols. Updates are provided as necessary to include changes and to add any new “lessons learned.”
The OTHS faculty and staff have been trained and are prepared to direct students in the event of an incident. Whether students are in classrooms, gyms, IMCs, cafeterias, etc., there are trained OTHS employees in those spaces that will direct and assist them in the event of an emergency. Each incident is unique, so the training received by our faculty and staff includes a “situational awareness” component so procedures can be adapted to the nature of the threat or emergency at hand. OTHS will not publish internal safety plans and will not discuss them publically in an effort to keep safety procedures and protocols out of the hands of any that may wish to threaten the safety of our campuses.
Finally, OTHS employs a School Resource Officer and trained certified security personnel who are armed in our buildings.