In an effort to strengthen school safety, the Campbell County Board of Education has developed a school safety committee.

Chaired by board member Lisa Fields, the committee is tasked with developing plans that will help keep students and staff safe.

While some parents have implored the board to consider metal detectors and wands that search for weapons, Fields said those items aren’t feasible. Metal detectors cost around $30,000 while wanding students simply impedes the flow of them getting to class.

At the alternative school, students are “wanded every day” and even with that small number of students, it is at least a 45 minute process, Fields said.

“There are other ways to improve safety,” she said.

The committee, which is comprised of law enforcement, board members and guidance counselors will be exploring traditional safety methods but also intends to delve into how schools can be more proactive on the mental health front.

In many instances, school shootings across the United States have been linked back to either unreported or untreated mental health issues. Fields and the committee will work to develop strategies and implement programs to help students who may need psychological assistance.

And while school safety will be the task of the committee, Fields also wants to see another program put into action for students.

In the last 18 months, three Campbell County students have committed suicide.

“That is three too many,” she said.

This summer, a number of the guidance counselors will participate in suicide awareness training with the Jason Foundation.

The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) works to prevent youth suicide through educational and awareness programs. Its goal is to equip young people, educators/youth workers and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth, according to the website. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/01/2018-6AM)