In what is expected to be the first of a possible series of forums on subjects such as School Safety, last month the Walton County Emergency Management Agency and the Walton County Local Emergency Planning Committee held a forum on School Safety. The event, which took place at the Praise Center on Highway 78, was not as well attended as was hoped. It was noted that it could possibly have been because people in the county feel relatively safe with regard to their students at school – it also could have been that the event took place on Aug. 23, the same night as the rivalry football game between Loganville High School and Monroe Area High School.
The hosting panel, however, consisting of school, mental health, law enforcement, fire department, emergency and emergency services had officials from all the local public safety departments sharing important information of safety concerns and just what is being done to protect the students, how threats are identified and what steps are taken to mitigate potentially threatening situations. The panelists discussed how potential events will be addressed and how parents and families will be kept informed should the unthinkable happen in the local area.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman pointed out that while much of what was addressed was how law enforcement and EMS would respond, it was the School Resource Officers who would be in place to address any situation before any outside response was ever activated.
Dimitri Kakavelaris wrote an article on the seminar and shared a video that was shown at the opening to illustrate just how intense the training is for the possibility of any active shooter event taking place in the local area. Click or tap on this link for both the video and the corresponding article by Kakavelaris.
In addition, Your Local News Explorer/Intern and a member of the Walton County Youth Advocacy Board, Joshua Walker, wrote a column on his views as a student from Walton County on safety in the schools following the forum.