How Montana Schools Keep our Students Safe - News, Sports and Weather

How Montana Schools Keep our Students Safe

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With such an increase of violence in schools over the years, and just this week some parents might be wondering what steps the education system here in Montana is doing to keep our students safe. Joe Moeller reports from Helena with more information on what safety precautions are being taken.

From the Newton, Connecticut shooting nearly a year ago, the Spark Middle School shooting earlier this week, and the student who stabbed a teacher to death on Tuesday in Massachusetts, it seems as if schools are a breeding ground for fatal violence. Here in Montana there has not been a school related shooting since the 1986 Lewistown School shooting when a 14-year-old student shot and killed a substitute teacher, but since its been over 25 years doesn't mean it isn't going to happen.

Now with such an increase with school related deaths in the recent years around the nation and even more recently the ones occurring this week, many might be wondering what schools like this one here in Helena and other schools around the state do to prepare for such tragedies.

Dennis Parman, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, states "At the state level, you know in the most recent Legislatures Senate Bill 348, a couple of big pieces that came out of that Legislation, one is that all schools are required to have a safety plan and with things like Sandy Hook and certainly things that have happened here in the last couple of days we have seen an increase in over the last several decades of the number of shootings and deaths in schools around this country they need to have those school plans in place."

The State of Montana Office of Public Instruction helps each district around the state establish a school guide line for safety precautions.

"We are in the process actually this fall of through our accreditation process finding out who has those plans in place, who needs help with those plans, then we provide access to some very high quality training we believe for school districts." continued Parman.

Once the framework is established its up to the local schools to implement safety plans to keep students as safe as possible on campus.

Superintendent of Helena Public Schools Kent Kultgen says "Well its district wide, but then we rely on the individual schools for the protocols that we have. So we have protocols district wide so that if something happens we know who to call, when to call, and how to get a hold of our partners, but then it is really run on the school level because a school knows its culture it knows its people it knows its parents then it is ran from a school level."

If any parent is concerned or wants to know their schools plans on tragedies as such as these you are urged to call the school.

Kultgen continued "Oh immediately contact their principle hopefully they have a good relationship with their principle, each principle in each school has their contacts with their councilors, with their teachers, and how to work with it but the principle is really the key contact for that school."

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