Kenton City Schools continues to keep student safety and school security top priority. Since the passage of House Bill 99 earlier this year, the Kenton City Schools Board of Education has followed the necessary steps to implement a Rapid Response Team.
A rapid response team is made up of school employees who have met the qualifications, received state-mandated training, and passed all required assessments to be authorized to carry a firearm on school grounds.
“Unfortunately, there were more gun-related incidents in schools last year than any year since 1999. There have already been 89 gun-related incidents in schools in 2023, which is almost one per day. We have to respond and do everything we can to keep our students safe,” said Thrush, Superintendent of Kenton City Schools.
School Resource Officers continue to be the best resource in response to these threats, but they cannot be everywhere at all times. Response time is critical because most school and other mass shooting crises end within just a few minutes. All members of the rapid response team have been vetted and approved by the Superintendent, Board of Education representative, School Resource Officers, Kenton Police Chief Dennis Musser and Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart.
“We fully support Kenton City Schools’ plan to implement a Rapid Response Team,” said Kenton Chief of Police Dennis Musser and Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart in a joint statement. “The KCS Safety Committee is being very diligent by doubling the training requirement mandated by the state as well as working hand-in-hand with our offices to make sure staff members to keep the students of Kenton safe.”
In addition to the team, Kenton City Schools continues to invest in prevention efforts with the implementation of three full-time independently licensed behavioral health counselors through the district’s partnership with Health Partners of Western Ohio, increased security and surveillance equipment, mental health assembly speakers, and a positive school culture.
Another layer of security the district is adding to keep students safe is a visitor management system. When a visitor is coming to a Kenton City Schools facility and is moving past the office, the visitor will have to present their government-issued ID to a scanner. The system will check the visitor against the national sex offender registry and local custody information, immediately flagging unauthorized visitors and notifying the school administration and School Resource Officers.