Parents invited to talk security at Madison High

Posted at 8:20 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 20:20:15-05

MADISON TOWNSHIP (BUTLER COUNTY), Ohio -- Parents returned to Madison Jr./Sr. High School on Wednesday to talk with district officials about safety and protocols. The meeting was a way to acknowledge a shooting in the school cafeteria last week that left four students injured, while also moving forward.

Madison Local Schools invited parents to share ideas on how the district might improve on issues of safety, security and support.

"At the elementary school, for instance, with a cafeteria full of kids, when the announcements came over for a lockdown on the PA system, our kitchen staff weren't able to hear those messages," district spokeswoman A.J. Huff said. "So we need to get a speaker back there for them."

Other changes may take time. Huff said the district is looking at ways it could help the Butler County Sheriff's Department. Metal detectors haven't been ruled out, she said. One change might involve classroom numbers, which all can't be seen when looking down the hallway.

"Right now, they are flat against the wall," Huff said. "We are looking at possibly making those three-dimensional off the wall, so when you look down, you can see all of the classroom doors."

For students, counselors are still at the school, but Huff said everyone is focused on moving on.

"It's not normal, of course, because there is an increased security presence, and everybody is just a little on edge," she said. "And that's going to take a while, I think, to go away."

Austin Hancock, 14, faces six felony charges in juvenile court in connection with the shooting. He has denied the charges, the equivalent of a not-guilty plea. The four students who were injured are expected to recover.