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Columbus City Schools focused on safety after shots fired incidents

The safety and security team at Columbus City Schools say they have robust procedures and protocols they undergo to keep students safe.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dozens of Columbus parents are concerned for their children’s safety after two frightening incidents.

Last Thursday, the Columbus Division of Police said gunfire caused a lockdown at Beechcroft High School, and about three hours later, police say they believe a teenager fired shots outside of Northland High School.

The safety and security team at Columbus City Schools says they have robust procedures and protocols they undergo to keep their students safe.

"It's shocking when you find shell casings anywhere, but it's more alarming when it's on a school property,” says Christopher Baker, Director of Safety and Security Columbus City Schools.

Police have charged a 15-year-old with allegedly firing shots at Beechcroft High School last Thursday around 11:30 a.m. They have not confirmed if the teen is a student at the school, but the safety and security team says they have a strict safety plan in place for these situations.

“When we were alerted that there were shots fired in the vicinity, we immediately went on our Level 2 lockdown,” Baker said.

Level 2 lockdown is when no one can enter or leave the school. Teachers can continue with lessons, but activity is limited. Baker says the school was on lockdown for 20 minutes until Columbus police gave them the all-clear. He says the schools are always on a modified Level 1 lockdown where everyone has to buzz in to enter the building.

A notification was sent to families via email just over three hours after the incident happened. Baker says the district is constantly working on ways to increase security at the schools. Currently, all CCS schools do monthly lockdown drills.

"We have metal detectors at all of our high schools and they're not actively involved every single day, we have a process of doing weekly screenings, but we're in the process of looking at how we can make that an everyday process,” says Baker.

Several hours after the Beechcroft incident, police found shell casings outside of Northland High School. According to police records, a witness says a suspect fired two shots from a handgun and then drove away. Police say they believe the suspect was a minor, but have not made any charges.

“We have a tough community situation right now in Columbus that we need all of our partners to help us to protect our precious resources, our kids,” says Baker.

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