Fayette County continues to prioritize school safety
FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Fayette County has long prioritized safety in and out of schools. Over the years, law enforcement and school personnel have worked together to highlight bus safety and emergency training, as well as implement various anti-bullying measures.
This year, Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley is looking at a new danger: the routine “Back to School” photo.
“Social media can be a good thing,” Fridley explained. “It can be a bad thing cause there’s bad people. There’s predators and stuff that just sit back and watch and learn about you and about your kid. You give out a lot of information about your child, about your location and all this stuff...and a predator is just sitting back taking all this in.”
Fridley says parents should be careful not to post too many details about their child online. This includes their age, favorite colors and foods and hobbies. He also says parents should never publicize what school their child attends. This information can later be used be preators to get close to said child.
In addition to these issues, Superintendent Gary Hough says Fayette County has worked all summer long to reduce and even eliminate threats with the help of weapon detectors and an app that will allow students to share what is happening in their school.
“Until everybody is comfortable in a school setting, it’s hard to educate them,” Hough stated. “Our top priority always has to be school safety, then we follow with the academic education. So we take care of both those categories, and then parents are comfortable, students are comfortable. It’s eliminating major concerns.”
Regardless of the precautions in place, Sheriff Fridley says it will take a team of people to be successful in eliminating threats.
“It has gotta be a joint effort. The teachers and the Board of Education, in general, can’t do it by theirselves. Us as law enforcement, we can’t do it by ourself. We are very blessed in the county because we have a good relationship with the Board of Education, and we also have the citizens of this county...”
To prepare for the new school year, all law enforcement in Fayette County attended a two-day training series last week. It focused on active shooter drills.
Monday, August 22, was the first day of the 2022- 2023 school year in Fayette County.
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