Fairbanks School District reviews safety policies after Uvalde shooting

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 8:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas claimed the lives of 19 students and 2 teachers.

This event has caused the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to meet with law enforcement to review their safety procedures.

Karen Melin, Chief School Administrator with the district, explained, “What we wanted to do was get with our law enforcement partners and just have the conversation with them about the processes and procedures that we’re using, and how we could better partner with them to make sure that in the event we would have an incident, that we’re all on the same page.”

Members of law enforcement were asked to review the district’s procedures. “It was a very productive meeting and I really appreciate the partnership that we’ve had this far, and then growing that partnership into the future.”

According to Melin, all schools in the district have a buzz-in system of entry with the exception of a couple charter schools, and in those cases, “They’re waiting to be installed.”

One goal of the district going forward will be to promote the view of law enforcement as a valuable resource for schools. “They are truly in place to protect us and to make sure that when they’re needed, they’re there.” Melin said.

The district also hopes to provide more safety trainings for staff. “COVID has kind of interrupted all of our usual patterns of doing things.” Melin said. “Maybe it’s time to do a refresh on some of our ALICE training, which is a training if there is an intruder in the building, what do you do, how do you get out?”

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

While students and staff are urged to avoid confrontation, if it is unavoidable, they are told to act aggressively against an attacker.

They are also encouraged to evacuate when possible.

Melin says it is not uncommon for schools in the district to enact some level of lockdown. “Most of the time it’s strictly a precautionary situation.”

“We’ve had a few this year where there were individuals that were suspicious,” she added.

More information about the school district’s safety policies can be found here.

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