Local school district taking different approach to keeping students safe

RIVERSIDE — A Miami Valley school district is taking a unique approach to keeping students safe as they head back to class today.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘Added layer of school safety;’ Armed response team approved for Mad River Local Schools

Mad River Local Schools first introduced its armed response team back in 2017.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spoke with Chad Wyen, the district’s superintendent, about how this team operates and what it is supposed to do in the event of an active shooter.

Inside a vest, there is a tourniquet and holster to hold their weapon that is always locked away in a safe unless an active shooter is in the school.

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Wyen said he was at a conference back in 2016 and went to a session about how schools can add an extra layer of security to their school buildings by arming staff.

Robertson reports he brought it up to the school board who ultimately decided to move forward with creating the armed response team.

Wyen explained the reason that he felt this was necessary was because of the number of school shootings he had seen through his 25-plus year career in schools.

They only have one school resource officer between eight total buildings.

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“The reality is, is that we have awesome first responders in the Dayton region, whether it’s local PD or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department,” he told Robertson. “However, in the event of an active shooter, there’s no way they can get there in time to stop the shooter. The only way that you can do that is if you have a team in place that can address the threat in the building at that time.”

Wyen said the response team goes through annual training every year to refresh their memories on how to properly handle an emergency.

Robertson reports about 30 teachers joined the team and they are spread out throughout each of the buildings in the district.

They go through peace officers training with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. They practice move-and-shoot drills, as well as running through live scenarios.

“When you are in a situation where you are addressing an active shooter, we’re blessed because our team, we train all the time, whether it’s going to the range, whether we’re training with first responders, whether we’re doing some training in the building, that it almost becomes muscle memory,” said Wyen. “It’s a perishable skill so if you’re not constantly training then you could lose some of the things that you learned.”

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The most recent training they had was Sunday, just three days before school started.

Today is the first day of school for students at Mad River Local Schools.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson has updates on this all morning on News Center 7 Daybreak.

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