The Beavercreek City School District is back in compliance with a state requirement that all schools update their school security plans every three years, the state Attorney General’s Office said Monday.
Dan Tierney, an attorney general spokesman, said school officials electronically submitted the correct paperwork Friday evening after learning that seven of the district’s eight schools appeared on a list showing their updated plans were two months overdue.
Beavercreek school board President Al Nels said Friday that school leaders believed they had submitted the correct information on time earlier this year, but they planned to check with the attorney general’s office to see why there was a disconnect.
Tierney said Monday they never received the district’s original submission during the first quarter. A school district employee apparently had good intentions but sent the information to the wrong entity – the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police instead of the attorney general’s office.
“A school will not get credit for an update that is no provided to our office,” Tierney said. “That’s one of the reasons the attorney general’s office does so much outreach and so much media awareness on this.”
Nels called it a clerical error.
“It was an email address that our sender thought was indeed the proper one affiliated with the attorney general’s office but we discovered when we went through and resent everything that it was not,” he said.
A 2007 state law requires schools to file comprehensive school safety and floor plans with the attorney general’s office. Attorney Gen. Mike DeWine said Friday that after last year’s school shooting rampage in Chardon, half of Ohio’s schools were out of compliance and 725 schools had never filed plans.
“It’s greatly improved since then,” Tierney said. As of Friday, 58 schools had not submitted school safety plans, while nearly 190 were not in compliance for updating them every three years.
“It’s not punitive but we want to work with the schools to make sure that this information is available in the unlikely circumstance it’s needed,” Tierney said.
DeWine released recommendations of his School Safety Task Force, including schools forming local partnerships with emergency first responders to manage school emergencies and a template safety plan that includes information and best practices Ohio schools can use to build safety plans.
The task force recommends schools follow a template floor plan that clearly labels entrances, cameras, utility shutoffs and other details that would assist first responders during emergency situations. DeWine said such information was lacking or inconsistent in plans that have been submitted.