Many more SW Ohio schools submit safety plans

In wake of Connecticut school massacre

CINCINNATI - The number of Ohio schools failing to file required safety and floor plans with the Ohio Attorney General's Office dropped Monday from 144 to 105 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Twenty-two schools from southwestern Ohio were initially on the list, but contact with 19 of them by 9 On Your Side indicated they've sent the required material to Columbus and consider themselves in compliance.

Schools with plans on file:

HAMILTON COUNTY

1. North College Hill Middle School (North College Hill)

"Our plans are there. We are in compliance," said Superintendent Gary Gellert. The district's plan is for one building which houses both the high school and junior high students. However, each carries a different street address.

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Superintendent Jim Rigg said each school is responsible for developing a safety plan and submitting it as required to the state.

"Although we did have schools that were on the list, that did not mean that schools do not have safety plans," he said. "We were able to verify Monday morning that the schools do have safety plans in place. They just had not filed them with the state as they are asked to do."  All six Catholic schools on the list filed plans by 5 p.m. Monday. Also, administrators have been asked to review their safety and security protocols to make children are safe at all times.

2. Archdiocese of Cincinnati Annunciation School (Clifton)

3. Archdiocese of Cincinnati Our Lady Of Grace School (Groesbeck)

4. Archdiocese of Cincinnati St. Francis Seraph (Over-the-Rhine)

5.  Archdiocese of Cincinnati St. John The Baptist (Harrison)

6. Archdiocese of Cincinnati St. Jude (Bridgetown)

7. Archdiocese of Cincinnati St. Vivian (Finneytown)

8. St. Peter & Paul Academy (Reading)

9. Cincinnati State Stem Academy (Clifton)

Beth Hensley said she sent a hard copy of the emergency plan to state officials in August or September and followed up with the Attorney General's Office when she didn't hear from them.  "I thought we were the poster child for compliance," she said.

Informed of the list Monday, Hensley said she resent all the material to Columbus. She added being on a college campus poses unique security challenges such as no intercom system. Consequently, security and emergency plans are taken very, very seriously.

10. Cincinnati Children's Home School (Madisonville)

Tim Daughterty said he personally sent the plan to the state and made copies of it and blueprints for the home's eight buildings for both Cincinnati police and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. "We go beyond what's required of us when it comes to security," he said.  

11. Regional Institute For Torah & Secular Studies (Golf Manor)

Rabbi Ezriel Dzialoszynski said the school send all required material to the state on Nov. 19.  "We did this in a timely fashion," he said. "We thought everything was good. This is definitely, definitely a mistake. We're very, very disappointed."

12. College Hill Leadership Academy (College Hill)

Superintendent Dale Leever said he submitted the required plan last week. Leever became full-time in July and said the previous administration didn't turn the plan in.

13. Accelerated Achievement Academy of East Cincinnati (West End)
 
The academy director said a plan has been submitted.


BUTLER COUNTY

14. Butler Tech Natural Science Center (Monroe)

15. D. Russell Lee Career Technology Center (Fairfield Township)

Superintendent Brett Smith said safety plans for both campuses have been in place for some time, but those plans had not reached the attorney general's office because of a submission error.  "The safety and security of our students and staff is of paramount importance," Smith said. "As soon as we discovered we were out of compliance with the attorney general's office, our Emergency Planning Team acted to correct the situation the same day." Copies of the plan are being provided to local police and fire departments along with updated floor plans.

16. Kinder Garden School (West Chester)

Principal Trudi Simpson said a plan was submitted on Monday morning. Simpson added school leaders met with police in 2010 and revisit the plan every year.


WARREN COUNTY

17. Goddard School (South Lebanon)

Owner Pete Joseph said he can't understand why the school is on the list for several reasons. One, he owns two other Goddard Schools and neither was on the non-compliance list. Two, the most recent state inspection for licensing through Job and Family Services showed the South Lebanon site in 100 percent compliance. Joseph said he was contacting Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Education and the Attorney General's Office to clarify the issue.

18. Lebanon Christian School (Lebanon)

Rick Milligan sent 9 On Your Side a copy of a letter indicating that as of Sept. 4, 2012, the school has an emergency plan on file with the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) and is in compliance with H.B. 422.  "We have also recently sent our updated plan to the Attorney General's Office. I

know we're in compliance," he said.

19. Cornerstone Christian Academy (Norwood)

School officials say they filed.


Status unknown:

1. Greater Ohio Virtual School (Lebanon)

2. Theodore Roosevelt Public Community School (Fairmount)

3. Impact Academy Cincinnati (Walnut Hills)
 
The school was closed Monday for an in-service day.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement the plans "are critical for first responders to respond to incidents at school facilities."

The plan for each school building must:

     * Address serious threats to the safety of school property, students, employees and administrators
   
     * Contain a protocol for responding to emergency events, including how to notify law enforcement,
       emergency response parents and affected students.

     * Prior to the opening day of each school year, boards must inform each student and parent of the
       parental notification procedures.

DeWine previously requested school districts submit plans to local officials and to his office at least twice in 2012, once on March 2 and again on Aug. 20.

Filing the plans is required under Ohio law, according to DeWine's office. Each safety plan must be updated every three years, or whenever a major modification to the building requires changes to the safety plan, according to DeWine's office.

Regionally, there have been three school-related incidents.

In Ohio, the most recent school shooting was at Chardon High School on Feb. 27, 2012. Student T.J. Lane opened fire inside the cafeteria, killing three students and injuring two others.

Clay Shrout killed four members of his Boone County family on May 26, 1994, then held his Ryle High School math class hostage before peacefully surrendering.

In 1997, Michael Carneal, 14, fired a .22-caliber pistol at a youth prayer group meeting at Heath High School in Paducah, Ky. Three people died. Five were hurt.

"After the shooting that occurred earlier this year in Chardon, and several times since, I urged schools around Ohio who had not yet filed school safety plans to do so," DeWine said in a statement.

More than 1,000 Ohio schools filed plans with DeWine's office, but as of Friday, Dec. 14, 144 hadn't complied.

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