Putting safety first

Published 8:17 am Friday, July 13, 2018

This week, the Symmes Valley school board announced a big change in one of its policies.

Starting with the new school year in August, those in grades six through twelve will no longer be permitted to bring backpacks and bookbags to school.

The move was made after superintendent Darrell Humphreys and the board met to come up with measures to increase safety at the school.

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Symmes Valley was on the receiving end of a bomb threat last year, when several Lawrence schools endured threats following the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.

As school officials said, the policy change would make it more difficult for an incident to originate within the school.

After posting the news on our website and Facebook page, as well as conducting a poll, we found that there was a sizable number of parents and families who took issue with the news.

Many stated students would have to bring home books to do homework and this would be more difficult.

However, this concern may alleviated by the changes technology is bringing. Last year, Symmes Valley, as well as South Point, issued Chromebook laptops to students, making it possible to pull readings and assignments from home, eliminating the need for taking many books home.

The district is also working with students to meet their needs with the policy change.

The schools have also set aside a room in both the high and junior high buildings, where students in extra curricular activities can store equipment bags.

We applaud Symmes Valley for showing leadership in taking this step and putting security first.

Other districts may put in place measures of their own. For instance, some districts are considering having students use clear bookbags, while many are planning safety tinting for its windows.

There is no one size fits all approach, but we hope all will join Symmes Valley in putting a priority on students’ safety.