Bossier Superintendent addresses school security in open letter
Bossier Parish Superintendent of Schools, D.C. Machen, Jr., released the following letter outlining school security plans for the district:
As each of us grapples with the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut,
every school system across the nation is surely examining its own security measures and
safety protocols in place. Let me assure you, Bossier Schools is.
We have the responsibility to every student, parent, employee and citizen of Bossier Parish
to ensure a safe learning environment. While no one can predict a person’s actions, it is our
belief the best defense is to be proactive, have an emergency plan in place, and practice it
Bossier Schools was fortunate to be the 2009 recipient of a $460,000 Readiness and
Emergency Management for Schools Grant, authored by Danny Dison, Bossier Schools’
Director of Security. The grant money enabled Bossier to implement a comprehensive
emergency plan throughout the district and train all of our school leaders in emergency
response and management.
Routine fire, weather and crisis lockdown drills are conducted throughout the school year to
practice safety procedures and familiarize students and staff with them. Every classroom has
emergency flip charts with an alert notification system and detailed instructions for various
scenarios and teachers are instructed to keep their classroom doors locked at all times of the
Each school also has a camera surveillance system; every principal has a First Responder
radio tied directly to local law enforcement; law agencies are linked to Bossier Schools via a
detailed Web-based mapping system; and the entries at several of our elementary schools
have been retrofitted and we are continually updating others with safe entrance barriers.
Bossier Schools also has full-time School Resource Officers at every middle and high school, a
program that has proven itself effective time and time again. We are evaluating the need to
add SROs at elementary schools.
Are these measures enough? No. Never. That is why, on behalf of Bossier Schools, it is our
pledge to remain vigilant every day in pursuing ways to better protect every child and
employee in our care.
D.C. Machen, Jr.
Superintendent of Bossier Schools