Faribault, Northfield school districts have emergency plans in place - Northfield MN: News

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Faribault, Northfield school districts have emergency plans in place

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Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014 3:47 pm | Updated: 11:02 pm, Fri May 2, 2014.

Superintendents for the Faribault and Northfield school districts are confident that with the policies in place at their respective schools, a plan such as the one John David LaDue, 17, was purportedly going to carry out in Waseca would be thwarted.

LaDue devised a plan to first kill his family, then start a fire outside of town to distract first responders before heading to the high school, setting off explosives and shooting as many students as he could.

“We’ve taken things to the next level the past two years in terms of readiness,” said Faribault Superintendent Todd Sesker. “Last spring we focused on intruder training and local law enforcement showed all of our staff various precautions to take if there is an intruder.”

Sesker said that each time something like this happens, school officials go back and look at the district’s emergency plan and then coordinates with the Faribault Police Department and Rice County Sheriff’s Department to put into place preventive measures.

But above all, Sesker believes communications is the key to preventing something like a Columbine or a Sandy Hook − or what could have happened in Waseca − from happening.

“Our school liaison officer gets to know the students and builds trust. Many times a student will come up and make the officer aware of something that is happening,” Sesker said. “This is one of the best ways we can prevent something like what could have happened in Waseca from happening here.”

Northfield superintendent Chris Richardson agrees, saying communications in different areas is the way to stop these things from ever getting to the point the Waseca incident did.

“I think it would be likely that another student would approach a teacher or staff member if he or she had any suspicions,” Richardson said.

But in case that doesn’t occur, the Northfield superintendent says there are contingencies in place that could help prevent an incident.

Richardson says the emergency crisis plan in place in the district is continuously looked at and tweaked after consultation with the Northfield Police Department and Rice County Sheriff’s Department.

He also said that security measures such as cameras, locking doors during school hours and keeping a close eye on students when they enter the school is a helpful deterrent.

“Then, we practice the core responses with the students and staff numerous times a year,” he said. “We try to address it on the front side before something actually happens.”

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  • parentvoice posted at 2:54 pm on Mon, May 5, 2014.

    parentvoice Posts: 438

    I can't comment about Faribault, but in Northfield, complacency and rose-colored glasses are the trademarks of the public schools. There's this belief that all students are happy; no students have weapons or do drugs, and that a "greeter" at the entrance to the building could, somehow, stop a well-armed scooter like Adam Lanza. I don't think any of these propositions are correct, and I sincerely hope I am wrong, because the safety of kids is at stake. But, much more important that we all be polite, I guess, and not rock any boats.

  • Deborah Salonek posted at 9:19 am on Sun, May 4, 2014.

    Deborah Salonek Posts: 296

    Are you people for real??? Our schools are very vulnerable, remember a few short months ago Sesker and his buddies came up with a ludicrous plan to have a welcoming center, new gym etc. The only part of that whole thing that I would agree with and gladly pay tax dollars to do is to make our schools safer by having safeguards in place through changing the entrances of the school buildings. In the Waseca case no student went to any school employee with concerns about the kid who had a very elaborate plan which he was ready to pull off at any time.
    My friend who owns the music store in Waseca gave him guitar lessons for 3 years and he had no clue and said that he was the last kid that he thought would do anything like this.
    I suggest they go for a bond to improve our schools safety, but do not add anything else onto it or it will not pass. If you think our schools are safe now then you are sadly mistaken, stop drinking the Koolaid that Sesker is handing out.

  • Concerned for Truth posted at 11:50 pm on Sat, May 3, 2014.

    Concerned for Truth Posts: 118

    Great to have the great Norseman Todd Sesker onboard in Faribault. He is a great educational leader. Hopefully, when Supt. Richardson we are able to get him up here in the land of North. He is disciplined with money and a good steward for the children. First in Goodhue, than in Bomberland (Cannon) and now in Falcon land! He is a true educational visionary. Northfield needs to continue Supt. Richardson's great leadership! Todd Sesker is the best there is! Bullying, although a serious problem at the High School level, at the ivory towers where they charge children 50K and let them leave with 100k and no job...those are the real economic bullies...Let us be honest. Thank God for Public Education!

  • parentvoice posted at 2:39 pm on Fri, May 2, 2014.

    parentvoice Posts: 438

    Improving the climate by stopping bullying--by students AND teachers would also be a useful step to take.


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