School Safety Update
Letter to the Editor
Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the senseless and unimaginable tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. We express our sympathies to the families who lost loved ones and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Robb Elementary School community as they mourn their classmates and teachers.
Additionally, we stand in support of all other school shooting victims, families and communities that have had memories rekindled due to this tragic event.
This tragedy has brought up valid and appropriate questions about K-12 school safety across the nation. At the Corinth School District (CSD), protecting our students, teachers and staff is our top priority. We will continue to take every and all necessary measures to ensure safety at all of our district campuses.
CSD has numerous safety measures and protocols in place. Some of these must remain confidential for security purposes. Other such measures we can share include the following:
- After receiving approval from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to create the Corinth School Police Department, CSD hired three School Resource Officers (SROs). Two SROs resigned after the first day of employment. Currently, we have an SRO at Corinth Elementary School (CES) and an SRO at Corinth Middle School (CMS). Interviews are ongoing to fill our vacancy at Corinth High School (CHS).
- All necessary equipment was purchased for our SROs including guns, tasers, OC spray, handcuffs, body armor, uniforms and other law enforcement items.
- Our SROs are attending Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) with other SROs from across the nation. At this training, the SROs will receive more than the required 40 hours.
- CSD uses School Status, an instant text messaging software, for communication to include any immediate threats.
- CSD conducts active shooter drills, as required by law, at all three schools.
- A controlled access door is installed at CMS. Doors at CES are equipped with card swipe access. We are working toward creating a single point of entry for CHS.
- All classroom doors are expected to remain locked throughout the day.
- All district owned devices have an advanced content filter called iBoss that scans local computer use as well as internet activity. iBoss immediately notifies school administration of threats and inappropriate online behavior and administration takes appropriate action. Additionally, Bark software scans all school email communications and content stored in the cloud. Remote desktop monitoring software is also available for administrators to view student computer screens in real time. Finally, the district uses a Fortinet firewall. CSD is researching additional software as needed.
- Security cameras are installed at CMS, CHS and on all school buses and we are installing a system at CES this summer.
- Multiple staff members have key access to allow for immediate entry into any school space.
- Each school has a crisis response plan that is reviewed and shared with teachers and staff.
Additionally, CSD partners with several community organizations in a variety of ways:
- CSD works closely with the Corinth Police Department (CPD) to investigate and determine when and if threats occur. Additionally, CPD utilizes district facilities to conduct active shooter training. Their next training is scheduled for July and our SROs will participate. The CPD response time to a call is 2-4 minutes to any campus and they conduct walk-throughs in all three schools on a regular basis.
- Through the state-provided nSIDE platform, CSD will give security camera access and visual floor plans to all emergency management personnel including CPD, Corinth Fire Department and Alcorn Emergency Management Services to reduce response time in the event of an emergency.
- CSD has an agreement with the Alcorn County Juvenile Detention Center and Regional Correctional Center to house students and adults that are arrested on CSD property.
- CSD conducts and requires threat assessments to be completed before students with serious disciplinary issues may return to school.
- Timber Hills currently provides mental health counseling and services to students. We are exploring ways to increase our mental health services to students.
As the state of school security changes, CSD will continue to stay aware of any updates necessary to keep our students, teachers and staff as safe as possible. As always, the CSD remains committed to providing the safest and best learning environment to all students, teachers and staff.
Chip Peterson, President, Frank Davis, Secretary, Dennis Dilworth, Member, Jessica Garth, Member, Rilla Jones, Member, and Dr. Lee Childress, Superintendent