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Onondaga County welcomes new school safety task force


West Genesee Central School District is jumping on board of the new school safety task force.{ }
West Genesee Central School District is jumping on board of the new school safety task force.
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Today, Parkland Florida students went back to school, just months after 17 students were killed in a mass shooting.

Onondaga County district attorney, William Fitzpatrick, formed a school safety task force. There are 39 members in the task force, along with Onondaga County executive Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County sheriff Gene Conway, and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.

Concern is continuing to spread and conversations and still taking place between parents.

"With what's happened in the world, I think you know there has to be more precautions taken," Jeff Kurtz said.

The research based task force is made up of parents, students, mental health professionals, government officials, school districts and law enforcement.

"There's a lot of people that care and I think they're doing what they can and I think the structures they have are pretty solid," John Boyle said.

The West Genesee Central School district is one of many districts in Central New York jumping on board.

"As a superintendent, you feel the ultimate responsibility for the safety of everybody that's under your roof your buildings events everything," Superintendent Chris Brown said.

There are four main areas task force members focus on such as, student and teacher training, threat assessment, school grounds safety and law enforcement.

Dr. Brown is the chair for student and teacher training, sharing his district's protocols with other schools.

"We're using what's called the standard response protocol which most schools are using, there are also different companies that can help you train," Dr. Brown said.

The stand response is a report used to train for lockdowns, lockouts and drills.

Members are also stressing the importance of mental health, noticing behavior or physical changes immediately.

"You can't underestimate the value of a relationship you just can't, it's one of the things we talk about all the time you've got to know your students, you've got to know your employees too," Dr. Brown said.

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Dr. Brown said each district has a 35-page safety task force booklet to review with their own safety committee, hoping to prevent future tragedies.

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