By Pam Robinson
Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth along with MSD of Mount Vernon Supt. Tom Kopatich have spoken plainly about tomorrow’s after-school shooting simulation at Farmersville Elementary School: no students—no children at all—will be present during the simulation, and no actual ammunition will be fired though plenty of noise will be made. Oeth was present with Sgt. Russ Werkmeister of the Indiana State Police, a certified hostage negotiator, to discuss the simulation at the Mount Vernon School Board meeting Monday, Feb. 18, 2013.
During his presentation, Oeth said the purpose of the simulation was two-fold. First, it will better prepare MSD of Mount Vernon faculty and staff to act according to their written policies and procedures if a violent incident should occur. Second, law enforcement will time how fast they get to Farmersville Elementary when notified the simulation has started.
“Hopefully, we’ll never be in that situation,” Oeth stated. In that event, however, he said it’s important for faculty and staff to be able to act quickly to gain control of the situation.
After tomorrow’s simulation, Farmersville staff will meet with the county and state law enforcement training them. Oeth quoted the old adage, “You perform and act as you train,” as the rationale behind the simulation.
“Heaven forbid,” Oeth said, “that day should ever come [when a violent incident occurs]. If it does, we’ll get through it, and we’ll get through it well because they [faculty and staff] know how to respond and what to do.”
Kopatich said the MSD of Mount Vernon hopes eventually to provide simulations for all school faculty and staff. After the meeting, Oeth stated that it is hoped all schools will be scheduled for the simulated training by the end of this school year.
Mount Vernon School Board members will be invited, one member at each simulation, to observe the process. Likewise, the MSD of North Posey will be observing the Farmersville simulation.
In other business:
•The board accepted the resignation from Robert Seifert as industrial technology teacher at the junior and senior high schools effective February 22, 2013, and from Justin Noyes as information systems foreman effective March 15, 2013. Supt. Kopatich said a long-term substitute teacher is already in place to fill Seifert’s position, which will later be posted to find a permanent replacement. In addition, he said Noyes’ position is being posted now on the MSD of Mount Vernon website.
•The board accepted the conflict of interest disclosures from Kyle Jones, Tom Kopatich, Beth McFadin Higgins, Gary Redman, Chad Rodgers, W. Tom Russell and Randall Woodall.
•The board authorized leasing agreement renewals at Hedges Central School for one year beginning March 1, 2013, for the administrative offices of the Mount Vernon Homeless Shelter and the Community Action Program of Evansville (CAPE).
•The board authorized student Sunday performances for Angelus and Cul on April 21 at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand and for Angelus on April 28 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in St. Philips.
•The board granted permission to advertise for the school district’s financial services.
•Kopatich announced that administrative personnel are working on several grant proposals—for Vectren, Old National Bank and Toyota.
•Kopatich reported that there were “no issues” and “no comments” in the recent State Board of Accounts’ audit report. He commended office secretaries, building secretaries and all finance personnel for their excellent work. The State Board of Accounts won’t conduct another school district audit for two years.
The Mount Vernon School Board will meet again Monday, March 4, 2013, at 5:45 p.m. in the junior high media center.
By Pam Robinson
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