School Shield Program assesses PHS security

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Last month, students and staff witnessed a group of adults roaming the school, both in classrooms and in the halls. This group of law enforcement officers and school administrators from across the state was part of the School Shield Program. Their visit was a training exercise to teach them how to assess a school’s security strengths and weaknesses.

The School Shield Program, sponsored by the NRA, is “committed to addressing the many facets of school security, including best practices in security infrastructure, technology, personnel, training, and policy,” according to its official website.

Bozeman City Police Officer and SRO Eric Vandersloot contacted PHS principal Lynne Scalia to ask if Park High could serve as an example school for their security assessment training, Scalia explained. As a result, PHS will receive detailed feedback and recommendations on its security, school climate, communication system and overall preparedness.

Although this class has been taught hundreds of times around the country, SRO Tim Williams said that the instructor mentioned that our school is very secure compared to others he has seen. In fact, PHS is one of the safest out of 300 classes that he has taught.

Williams said that the visiting team praised the way our administration and School Resource Officer have been making our school a secure and a safe place, which he said, “I am very happy to hear.”

In Montana, School Shield has trained in schools all over the state. The participants that were here were from Bozeman, Ennis and Big Timber.