Parents and community members form a prayer circle after a 2016 shooting at Madison Jr./Sr. High School in Butler County. STAFF FILE/2016

7 lessons learned from another local school shooting

The shock of a school shooting Friday in Champaign County brought questions as the West Liberty-Salem community also wrestled with its emotions and fears.

After a 2016 school shooting in Butler County’s rural Madison Twp., several lesson were learned.

1. Evaluate safety measures

Madison Local School District implemented new safety measures in the wake of the school shooting in 2016, including hand-held metal detectors and hiring a second school resource officer. More details on their safety improvements here

2. Letting children vent about shooting helps them cope

Parents say the best thing they can do to help their children is offer an attentive ear, a warm embrace and an assurance that things will be better. Click here for advice from experts as well as parents whose children experienced a school shooting.

3. State won’t identify school districts without safety plans

Ohio law requires all schools to submit emergency safety plans, but a recent change in that law leaves parents and others unable to confirm whether schools are following the law. Click here to read what this news outlet discovered about why the state guards that information.

4. Funds available to tighten school security, provide counseling

After its school shooting in 2016, the Madison Local Schools District took measures — and invested thousands of taxpayers’ dollars — to reduce the possibility of more school violence. Click here to read what grants the school applied for to provide counseling services to students

5. District must reach out to parents

Just nine days after the shooting at Madison Jr./Sr. High School, parents met with school administrators, who talked about plans to make the district safer through physical enhancements to the buildings. The district administrators also wanted to help parents understand why it was important for them to encourage their children to report potential violence. Click here to learn more about the concerns parents expressed

6. Let students, staff return to building as soon as possible

In the days following the shooting at Madison Jr./Sr. High School, school officials reached out for guidance to another Ohio school who experienced a shooting. One of the key takeaways was to open the school building to students as soon as possible. Click here for more on what Madison Schools did to help students return to school

7. Leadership is important

Until the 2016 shooting, Madison was a quiet district that rarely made the news unless one of its high school basketball teams advanced far in the state tournament. In the wake of the shooting, the district’s top leaders stepped up to reassure the community and took action to improve safety measures. Read more here about their actions

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