Tips to prevent school safety threats

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:24 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Two men are accused of bringing an AR-15-style rifle to Bowsher High School’s homecoming dance and then leading police on a lengthy pursuit.

But is there anything school districts can do to prevent incidents like this one? 13abc spoke to a national security and law enforcement procedures expert, Tim Dimoff.

Dimoff said these kinds of scares are not uncommon, but there are some things that school districts, parents, and students can do to be more aware of them in the future.

An easy way is to add security at big events like football games and school dances.

“You can have a security officer or officers at the entrance, and they can have simple metal detector wands, and everybody and everything they bring in can be wanded and inspected,” said Dimoff.

He said schools should tell students and parents about the added security ahead of time because it’s a deterrent and good PR for the district.

“It lets the students and their parents know that you’re concerned and you’re going out of your way to secure this event to be safe,” Dimoff said.

Dimoff said he thinks districts, students, and parents are sometimes under-prepared to deal with these scenarios because they believe nothing dangerous will happen.

“We’ve got to get away from ‘it’s not going to happen at our school’ and ‘it won’t happen at a dance event’ because anywhere where you have a gathering where you have a gathering of larger crowds, you have an increased potential for an aggressive or criminal action to happen,” said Dimoff.

Is there a reason why larger crowds increase potential criminal acts? Dimoff said the answer is simple: human nature.

“If I want to cause havoc, if I want people to remember me, then the larger the event is and unfortunately the more casualties, you have a greater chance of getting notoriety,” said Dimoff.

Toledo Public Schools released a statement regarding the incident stating the safety of students and staff is the district’s number one priority, adding that it was “unfortunate and unacceptable.”

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