Bay schools, city work together to prevent school violence
The recent school shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 innocent students and teachers causes us all to reflect on what our city and schools are doing to prevent and respond to such tragedies. It is a natural reaction for parents to be concerned about the safety of their children in the schools during such tragic incidents.
The Bay Schools have Emergency Management Plans in place for each school building in the district. Safety plans are required by the Ohio Revised Code section 3313.536. These plans were promulgated and reviewed by school administrators; the police and fire departments; parent, teacher and non-teacher employee representatives and others. Within this comprehensive operations plan are procedures for active shooter incidents.
For several years the Bay Village Police Department has worked on conducting crisis response and safety training sessions with all the schools, including participating in active shooting scenarios. The next training has been scheduled for this month. Important insight is gained from these trainings in addition to ensuring the students, faculty and law enforcement understand how to react and are coordinated in their response.
Prevention of acts of violence within the schools is the top priority. Early identification and prompt intervention is the key to keeping our schools and community safe. The exceptional communication between the Bay Village Police Department and the Bay Schools enables quick action when concerning behavior arises.
Intervention takes many forms and depends upon the particulars of each case but always involves the student, parents, schools, city and any professional services that may be required. The Bay Family Services program, in place since 1996, provides prevention, intervention and counseling services to our youth and their families. Anyone who feels they could benefit from this service is encouraged to contact Bay Family Services at 440-617-7416. All communications and services are confidential.
For more than 30 years, the City of Bay Village has also been involved in a juvenile diversion program that diverts low-level offenders from the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court system back to the City. Individualized wraparound services are then implemented to better serve each youth offender. This highly successful program allows for efforts to focus on the underlying issues which resulted in the offender’s behavior and a more rapid resolution to the case.
The safety of our children is paramount. Together, the Bay Schools and the City of Bay Village have established education/prevention programming and counseling/intervention services and continue to work toward making Bay Village a safe community.
BVPD Chief Mark Spaetzel
Bay Village Police Department Chief