School districts make safety a top priority

It’s hard to believe, but the start of the new school year is right around the corner. A summer filled with swimming, flip flops, outdoor adventures and carefree fun will soon be gone. They will be replaced by days that will include schedules and homework, as well as opportunities to once again see beloved teachers and close friends.

Parents are also beginning to gear up for the new school year. In addition to worrying about the simple things like whether all of the right school supplies are purchased, there will be thoughts about heavier issues such as school safety.

Following tragic events like the shooting in June at Troutdale’s Reynolds High School, just across the Columbia River, this issue is at the forefront of many people’s minds now more than ever.

Does this mean we should all constantly live in fear of what could happen? Certainly not. But being educated about how our schools are preparing for and working to prevent these kinds of events, and providing input on how efforts can be improved are important pieces of the puzzle.

An article in today’s Post-Record illustrates how seriously Camas and Washougal school administrators are currently taking the safety of our children. Post-Record reporter Danielle Frost recently joined educators who attended a Clark County emergency training summit, intended to instruct principals, administrators, counselors and school psychologists on how to spot potential problems and de-escalate violent situations.

And soon in Washougal, citizens will be asked for their input when it comes to school safety and security, an issue that the district has identified as a priority. A School Safety and Facilities Planning Forum is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the district office, 4855 Evergreen Way.

School district officials will talk about facility needs, student safety and capacity.

These kinds of events illustrate how our local school leaders are currently taking school safety seriously. Parents and community members should contribute toward making sure that focus continues.