Huron Valley Superintendent Speaks Out About Security in the District

Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT., Huron Valley Schools Superintendent Jim Baker said the district is actively reviewing security procedures at all district schools.

The following is a message from Huron Valley Schools Superintendent Jim Baker.

Good morning HVS Parents and Guardians:

Like many of you, over the weekend I watched in horror and sadness the unfolding news coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As a school administrator in a community known to be safe and closely knit, I am struggling to come to grips with how this happens and the unfortunate frequency of these types of events. 

As a father, I cannot imagine the unbearable grief the families must be experiencing. In parallel, I recognize that our job is to provide the safest possible environment for our students. Following are some important steps we are taking this week and in the weeks to follow.

1. Each building is conducting a review of its emergency plan, including procedures designed to protect students in the event of an active shooter.

2. HVS is conducting an audit of each building’s safety equipment, including cameras and monitors to ensure that they are in proper working order.  

3. In each of our buildings, staff members are being provided with the appropriate tools to talk to children about the situation at Sandy Hook, but are not initiating the conversations.  In most instances, particularly at the elementary level, our job is to reassure our students that they are in a safe and nurturing environment.

I would also like to remind parents that we are fortunate to have close working relationships with our law enforcement agencies, including the Oakland County Sheriff Department, Milford Police Department and the White Lake Township Police Department.  We conduct drills on a regular basis with these agencies and will review the protocols we have in place with each of them. This review will involve the school resource officers we have on a full-time basis at both Milford and Lakeland High Schools.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook drove home the point that regardless of all these activities, there are events that occur that are beyond our control. You have my commitment that we will continue to plan, practice and constantly evaluate our preparedness in order to maximize our students' safety and security.

Jim Baker


EXCELLENT RESOURCES for Teachers & Parents

The Best Resources On Talking With Children About Tragedies (compiled by Larry Ferlazzo)

A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope (Nat’l Association of School Psychologists-NASP)

Mr. Rogers on Tragic Events in the News (especially good for young children)

Helping Children Cope After a School Shooting (Children’s Nat’l Medical Center)

School Safety: Tips for Administrators (NASP) Coping With School Crisis: Helping Students with Special Needs(NASP)

Are you satisfied with the security at your child's school? What else do you think can be done to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting?

Laura Vogel December 18, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Perhaps we should declare martial law, like Paragould, Arkansas, has done. I bet everyone feels very nice and safe now... http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2012/12/17/paragould-to-put-officers-with-assaults-rifles-on-the-streets
Jennifer l. green December 18, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Disagree Tami..as long as it is done properly who cares who get the job done. It needs to be asap however. There are no need for officers at an elementary, why to scare our children even more?! High school children are more of the trouble makers and need the guidance. I work at Lakeland and see what goes on daily. Has anyone ever been to Apollo?.. my son goes there and their security is great. There are 2 sets of double doors with the office in between. Unless you have the code to get in you DO NOT get in PERIOD! I think its great and maybe we should consider doing this for all the school's Also as for the staff, we can either have keys to outside doors or swipers on our badges. Its sad we should have yo do things like this, but unfortunately its a must in our society
Tami Hall December 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Jennifer, I do agree with you about Apollo and I've written to Jim Baker about that matter. I suggest using specialists in this because the people in charge now have felt what we have is sufficient. I have heard the government paid for the entry door at Apollo because Headstart is there, but that is hearsay. Door alarms would be the first, that way if a student were to open a door for someone they would know, and teachers would just swipe a card to open without alarm. I don't feel I'll ever hear back from Jim Baker though, never had any luck with contacting administration.
LonzII December 19, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Installing a 'Buzzing-in' system is a band-aid & not a complete fix, though I believe it should be part of the solution. Sandy Hook had that system & the shooter shot the glass out & walked right in - no buzzer was going to stop him! We need to get rid of the full-glass doors on ALL the schools - front doors on all the schools & on most schools, all other exterior doors. Need to look at alternatives - I don't believe the entire door needs to be replaced; at Oxbow, looks like the bottom glass pane can be replaced with a solid steel pane & the top piece can be a piece with a smaller glass opening, instead of a full one (similar to the fronts doors at Lakeland). WLMS only has glass doors at the entrance - all other ones are a solid steel. And every office has to have a 100% clear view of whom is approaching the entrance. This currently is not the case at all schools - in fact, very few. Let's hope the administration takes this seriously & all the 'listserv' messages are not just a bunch of hot air.
deniseconnolly February 03, 2013 at 07:38 PM
I want to know why Huron valley schools are not on lock down like walled lake schools and others schools ate kids are not as valuable I'm a pisses parent and am going to press this issue


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »