COLUMBIA CITY — As school safety is ramping up around the country, many parents are asking — “How much am I entitled to know?”
The answer to that question is not always clear, as schools can be locked down for a variety of reasons — some that are open to the public, and some that aren’t.
As some schools in Whitley County have been on “lockdown” in the last few years, many administrators struggled with parents who were concerned with the safety of their child, demanding details of the school’s situation.
But fielding phone calls from parents mid-crisis isn’t usually an option, and even after the fact, parents don’t always get the answers they’re looking for.
“What parents want to know and what we’re allowed to give them are not always the same thing,” Indiana State Police Sergeant Aaron Cook said.
With today’s technology, when a school goes on a lockdown, high school and middle school students text their parents, sparking phone calls to the schools, and occasionally frantic parents who want answers.
“We are working to keep children as safe as possible — that is our number one priority — then we work on communicating with the parents,” Whitley County Consolidated Schools Superintendent Pat O’Connor said. “Sometimes we can’t tell them what’s going on until after the situation is under control.”
O’Connor said WCCS is working on a possible email and text messaging service for parents when situations occur.
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