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Education


Cleveland enhances school safety
District says it needs to invest in kids as well as technology
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and KEVIN NIEDERMIER, AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

Cleveland is trying to enhance safety at it schools with new technical and emotional training. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the program unveiled yesterday, less than a week after a shooter in Connecticut killed 20 young children.

SCHULTZE: Cleveland school safety programs

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The technical part of the enhanced school security system gives police digital blueprints of all 100 public schools in Cleveland. School spokeswoman Roseann Canfora says those can be accessed through police laptops in very short order. 

 “This … will put technology at the fingertips of first responders, who will be able to see at their fingertips exactly where the school building is, exactly where the school classroom that they need to respond to.”

Nordonia Local School District was the first in Northeast Ohio to adopt the program. Police Chief Mark Wentz says it gives police valuable hints in case of a shooter.   

“(We) know where every closet is, every shutoff value is. And the nice thing about this program is I can take a new officer on my department, and within a few days of being on the department, he will know exactly where to go, so there’s no problem with everybody not seeing the same thing.”

The computerized blueprints were developed by Macedonia-based Foremost Safety Solutions.

School district spokeswoman Canfora says Cleveland is also putting not only relying on technical solutions. It’s also emphasizing emotional training to help students.”

“This new program is part of our combination of human-ware and hardware in our schools. We do have metal detectors, X-ray machines and so forth. But the human-ware component is the social and emotional learning piece, where we teach students how to grapple with their feelings and to address those situations before violence occurs.”

Two northeast Ohio school districts – Cleveland and Chardon – have seen shootings in the last five years.

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