Mader speaks on school safety


Harsimran Makkad

BE SAFE. The Blue Ash Recreation is the reunification site for students in the case of an emergency that requires evacuation. According to Principal Doug Mader, one responsibility of administrators is to evacuate the campus and get students to the reunification spot. They can press an emergency button to send messages to all parents, providing information about meeting students at the Rec Center.

  On Thurs., March 22, Mr. Doug Mader sat down with Convergence Journalism students (i.e. “The Leaf” staffers) for a 45-minute press conference. Considering the current national conversation regarding it, school safety was a pervasive topic during the conference.

  “The number one thing to keep schools safe is to embrace students, for the adults in the building to build relationships with students and make them feel safe [so that] whatever your feeling was, that you felt understood,” Mader said.   

  As illustrated above, Mader stressed visibility as a large criterion for maintaining school safety.

  Specifically, the 56-year-old principal spoke to the occasions on which he often sees students: the administration stations adults at each entry point of the school while students are arriving so that each adult sees the same people every morning.

  Mader called for a change in this system so that he would be able to see more people and bid them all good morning.

   As for other changes that will be made, Mader announced plans to put shatter-resistant film on the glass windows of the front office.

  Mental health issues were also addressed.

  “We have partnered with mental health professionals to help on mental health to reach the students that are really crying out for help,” Mader said.

  The longtime SHS staff member was also asked about what would occur in regards to communication during an emergency like the one that occurred in Parkland, Florida last month.

  “We have an emergency response team. If that would happen here, we have things in place. I don’t have to worry about communication because we have people in district office who are in charge,” Mader said.

  Mader mentioned one responsibility of administrators in such a situation, which is to evacuate the campus and get students to the reunification spot at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.

  “We have jobs among administrators… If something were to happen here, I would run towards [the scene] with Officer Paul Payne… that’s my job. We would be communicating with everyone else.

  “When that’s done, I would go to the command center and be [talking to] who[ever] [would] be communicating.

  “There’s an emergency button we can hit that will [send messages] to every cell phone, every email we have for parents and tell them go to Blue Ash Rec to pick up their child,” Mader said.

 Of course, dialogue on school safety is ongoing and must evolve with the times. Nevertheless, it is important for administrators to keep students, parents, and community members updated on their attempts to keep all of us safe.