Protecting Schools

SCHOOL SECURITY has never been placed at such a high premium. Recent tragedies have made safety in schools a passionate and never-ending priority.

Many school districts, especially those in Eastern Ohio, are handcuffed by budget shortcomings. Resource officers are an effective route to go, but many school systems cannot afford the related costs.

Several local school districts have sought levies to fund a resource officer, only to see voters reject them. Buckeye Local is one of those school districts.

However, despite the levy rejection in May, Buckeye Local board members remained vigilant in their quest to enhance safety in their expansive district. The school board took a huge step in that direction at Monday’s meeting.

Board members unanimously approved a one-year contract with START LLC, (Special Tactics & Rescue Training). The Mingo Junction-based company was founded by retired U.S. Navy SEAL Frank Hoagland.

We view the decision as a prudent one by the district and one that moves students and staff further away from harm’s way.

Hoagland’s staff, which features another former Navy SEAL and a former Marine, wasted no time in launching its mission. He said his team has begun its initial efforts to move through the buildings with a focus on identifying initial areas of concern to be addressed and resolved.

Hoagland noted that START will continue to personally conduct research efforts at each site, develop an assessment and recommendations specific to each building to be shared with the board and, personnel from the district’s schools as well.

Buckeye Local officials earn our praise for not allowing a levy defeat stand in their way of creating a safer environment for their employees and students. In fact, they appear to have hired a group of individuals extremely well-trained in the realm of safety and who have distinguished themselves in that capacity.