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Superintendent: Springfield students ‘extremely’ safe

Although security at Springfield High School has been heightened after last weekend’s shooting death of a 17-year-old student, district leaders said students are “extremely safe and secure” in school and at events such as prom today.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of rumors circulating and some of those rumors got fanned,” said David Estrop, Springfield City Schools superintendent. “But there is not one creditable rumor relative to the safety and security of this school or any other school in Springfield.”

Jeff Wellington, 17, was killed Sunday in the 2400 block of North Limestone Street. An arrest warrant has been issued for Tyrin Hawkins, 17, of Springfield, on a murder charge in connection with the death.

One of the rumors was that bomb dogs were present at the school, but Estrop said therapy dogs wearing handkerchiefs, not bomb jackets, were brought into the school to help students grieving after the shooting.

Additional security, school supervision and counselors were first brought to the school on Monday, the day students returned to classes after Wellington’s death. But having resource officers and Springfield police patrol officers at the high school is nothing new, Estrop said.

“We are fortunate that the city of Springfield provides these school resource officers who are trained, they work well with our students and they listen more than anything,” he said.

For prom today, the school has taken steps to add security, just as it did with classes during the week. Estrop said he has coordinated with the Springfield Police Division and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to provide the necessary security and additional school administrators will also attend the dance.

“We want this to be a great, memorable prom for the kids,” Estrop said.

Wellington’s funeral is scheduled for noon Monday. An account has been set up at PNC bank to aid with funeral expenses.

If anyone has a specific information about a possible threat, Springfield City Schools Superintendent David Estrop said he encourages them to directly call his office at 937-505-2906, or to contact the non-emergency line at the Springfield Police Division at 937-324-7680.

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