Joint Statement of Franklin County Schools Supt. Mark Kopp and Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton regarding school safety following the Parkland, Florida shooting of Feb. 14, 2018
Frankfort, Ky, Feb. 16, 2018 – Franklin County Schools Superintendent Mark Kopp and Sheriff Pat Melton today issued the following joint statement:
“Like every American, everyone in the Franklin County Schools and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is heartbroken by the events that occurred in Parkland, Florida earlier this week and closer to home, in Marshall County, Kentucky, on January 23.
We recognize that such a tragic incident could happen anywhere – in any workplace, any store or any restaurant in the country – but we also recognize that schools are particularly vulnerable and are increasingly becoming targets of such horrible acts.
The Franklin County Schools and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office share and are fully committed to ensuring that our schools are the safest places in our community. In fact, it is our top priority: No child should have to go to school in fear, and every parent should have a reasonable expectation that his or her child will come home at the end of the day. Our resolve is stronger today than ever before.
For years, the Franklin County Schools and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office have partnered together to ensure that our schools are safe: School resource deputies are assigned full-time to several schools and are able to respond to every school within minutes, whether on the east or west side. Our schools regularly perform lock-down drills to ensure that our faculty, staff and students know what to do in the event of an incident. Our expectation is that school doors are locked during the day, with access to each building controlled by a school staff person who visually identifies every visitor before they are admitted to the building.
In spite of these steps, we continue to work together to identify and implement tools and strategies that will make our schools safer, minimize their appeal as potential targets, and – ultimately – keep our children safe.
In addition, we need our entire community to help us identify those who might threaten or bring harm to our students. Every student, parent, grandparent and community member must be a part of the solution. We implore every member of our community to speak up if they suspect for any reason that anyone is contemplating such a heinous act as attacking any of our schools.
Please call the Frankfort/Franklin County Dispatch Center immediately at 502-875-8582 to report anything suspicious, whether it’s a comment or post on social media, a conversation overheard, your child’s remark at the dinner table about something another student said at school, or anything else that gives you pause. When in doubt, please call us! The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will work with the Franklin County Schools and any other law enforcement agencies necessary to identify and investigate any threat, and we will take every legal action available to prevent anyone from acting on a threat.”