The NT

Potential threat at BHS was quickly thwarted by local school/law enforcement

    If there is one message that Supt. Chad Yencer wants to convey to the parents and students who attend Blackford County Schools is that the safety of the students and staff is always a number one priority.

    “We genuinely take issues of safety at the highest level,” Yencer told the News-Times. “These are very serious issues.”

    He said an excellent working relationship with all local and county law enforcement agencies has enhanced the school’s ability to provide a safer environment for students and faculty of Blackford Schools.

    And the system obviously worked last week after the school officials were notified of a potential threat at Blackford High School.

    Within hours of first learning of the threat, parents were notified “the situation has been resolved … there is no longer a threat.”

    Yencer said he could not comment any further on the incident or the student who reportedly made those threats due to privacy laws and on advice of council.

    He acknowledged the concern of parents who felt a little out of the loop on the situation, and said he hoped to assure those parents that this was a number one priority for the school officials.

    Further reviews of school safety plans are planned in response with the goal of “creating the most safe environment as possible.”

    Yencer told The News-Times that the recent school shootings in Parkland, Fla., put all schools on notice and that Blackford Schools was not the only school system having to deal with threats since the incident left 17 dead.

    “The situation brought school safety measures to the forefront,” Yencer said.

    Yencer noted that each of corporation’s school buildings had their own safety plans in place. And that safety drills are performed on a regular basis.

    According to state law, schools are required to perform safety drills at least twice a year.

    Yencer noted that a review of that policy indicated there were some areas where the safety drills needed to be conducted more frequently.

    And they will be, the superintendent stressed.

    Although the high school is the only building to have a full time resource officer, the officer does interact on a regular basis with staff from each of the other schools.  

    He said each of school building has a buzzer at the main doors. Other doors remain locked during the day.

    Yencer said entry ways of each school will be among the many safety issues that will be reviewed. As well as response times and individual safety plans at each school.