State Department of Education hosts first of regional school safety meetings this week in Charleston | #schoolsaftey

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is hosting regional school safety meetings starting this week.

County and school administrators will join the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, the Fusion Center and the WVDE to discuss possible threats to child safety. The WVDE will also share information about new technology used for submitting annual school safety plans.

“The regional safety sessions serve several purposes, and all of them are designed to keep our children safe,” said Director of School Safety Jonah Adkins. “The FBI and Homeland Security understand the importance of public involvement, so this information is shared to increase awareness and prevent incidents that no one should ever experience.”

Jonah Adkins

The FBI will discuss online activity that students could get involved in. FBI special agents say they commonly look into hackers and adults that may be pretending to be juveniles and are engaging with children through social media or other online forms of communication.

Schools and counties have at their use better technology tools to submit their annual safety plans with WVDE GPS, or Grants and Planning System. The program includes new features that allow educators to include important student information in emergency reunification plans.

When meeting with the state Board of Education recently, Adkins also mentioned the “See Send” App that can be used by students if they have safety concerns.

“Students can submit reports or concerns anonymously and those come to the school safety unit and are investigated,” he said.

Adkins told board members he’s big on getting communities more involved. He said they play just as vital of a role of keeping kids safe at school as anyone.

“Get the community to realize they’re importance in involvement in school safety and prevention,” he said.

The first meeting is Tuesday, May 7, at the Embassy Suites, located at 300 Court Street in Charleston. The meeting will cover Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, Roane, Wayne, Wirt and Wood counties.

The rest of the series of meetings are as followed:

Friday, May 10 – White Palace at Wheeling Park, Wheeling
Barbour, Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wetzel counties

Monday, May 13 – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg
Braxton, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Summers, Webster, Wyoming counties

Thursday, May 16 – West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB)
Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, Randolph, Tucker counties and the WVSDB

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