Sussex County Schools React to Florida Shooting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Schools React to Florida Shooting

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 10:28 PM Updated:
Georgetown schools have seen some of the largest enrollment increases, along with Millsboro (Source: WBOC) Georgetown schools have seen some of the largest enrollment increases, along with Millsboro (Source: WBOC)

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- In the wake of a school shooting that killed seventeen people, Delaware school districts are reaffirming the importance of reporting suspicious behavior.

"So many times looking back at past incidents and looking at these lessons learned, typically in almost all cases there's missed opportunities mitigate the event," says Detective Joey Melvin, a Georgetown police officer and School Resource Officer at Georgetown Middle School.

Melvin says both students and staff coming forward with reports of concerning behavior allows them to keep their schools safe.

"It could be a journal entry that just seems off. It could be a written assignment that kind of displays concerning behavior," he says, referring to red flags for staff to look out for. "We have great counselors on board and we have people that can actually do threat assessments and vet out these children to get them the help that they may need."

Indian River School District Superintendent Mark Steele says Melvin and other officers' presence in their schools has made many feel safer and encouraged students to speak out.

"What we have noticed in some individual cases throughout the buildings is when the students feel something's not right or they feel there's a safety issue, they know [the officers]," he tells WBOC. "They see them everyday in the hallways. They interact with them so they are very comfortable to go to the safety monitors and say 'I've got a concern.'"

Steele says the district has a plan and protocols for an active shooter situation, though they hope the day never arrives. He says it's important for people to report anything, no matter how trivial it may be.

"It does not hurt our feelings at all to investigate these things," he says. "As a matter of fact we'd rather investigate to make sure we're safe."

Cape Henlopen High School Nikki Miller says each classroom at her school is equipped with a red folder of response protocols for an emergency. She says since the Florida shooting, they've already reviewed and added some new items. She says suspicious posting on social media is something they also ask their students to look out for.

"At the start of the year we go over expectations with our students that if there is anything, they need to alert an adult right away," she says. "Whether it's on social media, somebody that they have an interaction with or just any case in which they might feel frightened."

 

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