Changing the norm

Students from coast to coast are leading the movement to end gun violence in American schools

Parkland, Florida was just a small town unknown to most Americans, but on February 14, the town became a center of household conversation when 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a former student.

Although this shooting took place almost 1,300 miles away, Frisco Independent School District is still prepared for this to happen close to home.

We go through at least a week of active shooter training and then in service every two years for active shooters. If any new techniques come up or there’s a need, we go through additional,”

— SRO Glenn Hubbard

“We go through a lot of active shooter training, and actually, we’ve started active shooter training with the fire department as well,” School Resource Officer Glenn Hubbard said. “So when it’s going down, we actually go in with the firemen to retrieve individuals. We go through at least a week of active shooter training and then in service every two years for active shooters. If any new techniques come up or there’s a need, we go through additional.”

Frisco ISD and Frisco Police Department are ready and able to safely and effectively handle any situation without hesitation as many procedures have been practiced time and time again.

“There are a number of training and measures we take,” Frisco Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip said. “Our security director they actually do random security checks when they come onto your campuses. They’ll try to get in a door that’s not in the front door. Once they’re in the building they’ll take their badges off and see how long it takes for someone to stop them. We also do safety audits periodically and just go through an audit checklist to make sure that our campuses are as safe as they can possibly be.”

The students are also a huge part of making sure the campus is safe as they are the eyes and ears of the student body.

“We have a student tip line, Choose to Care,” Waldrip said. “We monitor that, those tips that come across that tip line actually go to our director of security, they go directly to him. We also depend on students to tell us anything that they learn or may know about if they heard a  student say something or if they see suspicious activity. We always want our students to come forward, even if it turns out to be nothing. We would rather be safe than sorry in those situations.”

Parents of Frisco High School students were sent this media release after the threats made to the school on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday Frisco PD had to execute these procedures and arrest Ronathan Livingston after they were made aware of a threat that was posted on social media against Frisco High School.

“The night before some guy posted on his [Snapchat] story that ‘Frisco kids gotta watch out tomorrow’ and students told the APs during first period,” Frisco High School senior Sarah Klausner said. “They immediately sent an email to all parents saying we don’t have to go to school or they can come pick up their kids and attendance won’t be counted. Safety procedures were taken as we had a lot of cops all over the school and they immediately took the suspect in custody.”

Many students believed that the district did, in fact, take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all students.

“Safety measures, in my opinion, were indeed taken,” Frisco High School junior Benjamin Angel said. “One crucial part of the whole operation and how it started was someone reporting the threat. It was put on social media and a student here at FHS reported. Student participation was crucial. I will say this though, many people took advantage of the threat, even though the school was full of law enforcement officers, and left school with an excused absence, but in reality so many students leaving at the same time just made it a safety hazard.”

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While changes are constantly being made to safety procedures as research and technology advances, the ‘see something, say something’ mantra will always be effective.

“Ever since Columbine, when we’d hold in place and not go in, now we go in right away, regardless of if we have one guy or one hundred guys,” Hubbard said. “If there’s shooting going on, we go in to stop the shooter. What’s good about places like Frisco is there’s access to the cameras, the staff is pretty aware, and the students care, so I get lots of reports every day. A lot of it isn’t weapon related, but people aren’t afraid to have me check it out. I’m one guy out of 2500 people here, so it’s good that people care and take responsibility for their safety.”