Newton BOE discusses response team training

By Cody Willoughby -

PLEASANT HILL — The Newton Local Schools board of education discussed updates on its school security plan during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Newton, is the second district in Miami County after Bethal Local Schools to add gun safes and a trained emergency response team, made up of volunteers from the district’s staff, to its security plan.

School resource officer Ryan Karn addressed the board with a report on the training of the school’s emergency response team, which took place intermittently throughout the month of August. The training was provided under the supervision of Miami County Sheriff’s Office officials at no cost to the district.

“They spent five days, or 40 hours, at the training center,” Karn said. “The first day was in the classroom, just talking through scenarios and different situations they might encounter, and making sure their mindset was right should they ever have to face one of those situations. We showed them the functions of the weapons, how they work, what to do when you get a jam, and when to access the weapons.”

The following four days brought the response team to the range, with team members firing over 1000 rounds each.

“I can say I’ve never seen that many rounds shot since I’ve been through the academy,” Karn said. “The training they received was very tough and very difficult. I, for one, feel confident in all of them should anything happen for them to assist me, and if I’m not here, for them to take care of the situation until law enforcement comes. I feel it was very good training and they all performed well.”

Karn confirmed there will be ongoing monthly training for the response team, including more range-based firing, roundtable discussions, and simulations on-site during designated off-hours.

Karn also confirmed that ten trauma kits have been placed throughout the building in the event of an emergency, and that all staff members at Newton have met with a medic to learn how to administer basic first aid from each trauma kit.

In other news, the board approved appropriations for the 2019 fiscal year, including a general fund of $7,086,039, and all other funds equalling $1,164,669, which totals $8,250,708 to be appropriated.

The board also approved an overnight field trip for twelve FFA members, who will be attending the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on Oct. 24-26.

According to the treasurer’s report, the district is “sitting at $633,054 in the black for the fiscal year, compared to 2017, in which we were $393,262 in the black, so we are sitting quite a bit better than last year.”

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By Cody Willoughby