School Safety: Frequently Asked Questions

As a supplement to our recent informational meeting on school safety, we have compiled a list of answers to questions we received from parents on the topic. This will be a living document. Moving forward, we will add to it as we receive more questions from students, staff and parents. To submit questions, please e-mail Jared Field, Director of Communications, at jared.field@lapeerschools.org.

QuestionAnswer
What is the School Resource Officer (SRO) Model?The District was an early adopter of the SRO Model, which brings uniformed police officers into schools as facilitators. The District has been home to at least one SRO for more than 30 years. Our SROs work closely with administrators, develop positive relationships with students and cultivate an environment of trust. The role of the SRO is as much about prevention as it is response.  
How many SROs are currently in our schools?Three. Two from the City of Lapeer and one from the Lapeer County Sheriff. 
What is the District’s approach to handling threats, credible or otherwise?In the context of the recent events at Oxford High School, it is important that our parents and students know that our tolerance level for threats of any kind is at an all-time low. When we are alerted to a threat, we will, in consultation with local law enforcement, conduct a thorough investigation and assign discipline if necessary. In addition, we work closely with our local law enforcement partners in the event that a threat requires legal action. 
What procedures are currently being utilized in the event of an active shooter?All school districts in Lapeer County currently utilize shelter-in-place (lockdown) procedures in the event of an active shooter. However, the District is planning to utilize ALICE training methods in the near future.
What is ALICE Training?ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. This training program teaches students and staff a variety of techniques in the event an intruder gains access to a building. 
Will the District implement ALICE Training for all students and staff?Yes. We are in the planning stages with local law enforcement for training sessions for all students and staff that will begin in the new year. 
What is lockdown?Generally, lockdown occurs when there is an active, potentially dangerous threat inside or in the immediately vicinity of a school. During this time, all classrooms are locked, hallways are cleared, students are not permitted to leave the classroom and no one (other than uniformed law enforcement) are allowed to enter the building. 
What is secure mode?Secure mode generally corresponds to a potential external threat that may, or may not, be specific to the District or of one of our schools. Secure mode has been utilized on many occasions out of an abundance of caution. During this time, students are required to be in their rooms, hallways are cleared, but classroom activity will continue as normal until there is an “all clear.”
Does the District perform lockdown/secure mode drills at different times of the day? How often will these drills occur?The District is required to conduct at least three lockdown and/or secure mode drills per school year. At least one of the drills is required to take place during a lunch or recess period, or at another time when a significant number of the students are gathered but not in the classroom.
Has the District considered door barricades in all classrooms? Or would the District consider automated locking mechanisms throughout buildings?Yes. We are currently looking at a number of options related to door-locking systems and barricades. 
Does the District have any plans to require that all backpacks are clear?Not at this time. 
Will the District re-visit its door buzzer policies to ensure that visitors have a legitimate reason to access the building?Yes. We have protocols in place and we will re-visit them moving forward.
Is the District allowed to do random backpack/locker searches?Administrators cannot search randomly, but searches can be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a student has violated the law or school rules.
Do we have emergency exit windows in classrooms?We currently have emergency exit windows in some but not all classrooms. 
Does the District have any plans to install metal detectors?No. We, like the vast majority of school districts, do not have adequate personnel to be able to handle the logistics required to implement metal detection systems in our schools. 
What other upgrades are coming to the District in the near future?The District will invest significant funds to upgrade our existing video surveillance system. 
Does the District provide social emotional mental health support services to students, staff, and families?Yes, current district resources include five school social workers, two school psychologists and eight school counselors. In addition to our district resources, we have increased support by contracting with Lapeer Intermediate School District and have obtained eight Mental Health Therapists for each school building.  
Are there action plans that can be utilized by law enforcement that are specific to the District’s buildings?Yes. 
Do our local law enforcement partners have direct access to our school buildings? Yes. We are in the process of giving our local law enforcement partners badge access to all our school buildings. 
Are there any future parent engagements being planned?Yes. We are planning a series of online engagements including one related to the proper use of social media that will be beneficial to parents and students. 
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