The Kohler Villager News

School district asks community to practice “golden rules” of security toward building a security-minded culture at school

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Superintendent of Schools

Along with the excitement of being with friends and learning new things at Kohler Schools, the school community is determined to build a security-minded culture.

In the present environment of heightened school safety, it’s vital that children and staff feel safe and prepared if they are to do their best learning and growing. While staff and students will be training and improving their readiness for potential threatening events, the community plays a critical role as well in ensuring a safe learning environment.

I ask all community members to do your part: Be vigilant and committed to the Golden Rules.

See something. Say something.
Check-in and wear an ID lanyard at all times.
No propping doors.
No letting friends in.

Why are the Golden Rules important? Two realities: Shared spaces and the Kohler citizen mindset. Sharing the facility with the public library, youth center, village gym, pool, and Kohler Memorial Theatre is uniquely benefiting to the community and presents significant security challenges. Kohler citizens can be described as polite, trusting, and helpful. These two realities, in light of lessons learned from past tragedies, contribute to a false sense of security.

Therefore, the Golden Rules must apply to everyone who enters Kohler Schools. In fact, checking in at the office, wearing an ID lanyard during every visit, closing a propped door without reservation, reminding a friend to stop propping a door, and directly contacting a school official or the police with information does more to keep our students and staff safe than all other security measures.

To make the point clearer: Walk down any street and one would likely greet neighbors and catch up a bit, drop off a forgotten phone charger at school, peruse the magazines at the public library, and take the shortest route to leave through a door on School Street for home. In 30 short minutes, the natural beauty, connectivity, access and efficiency would be make one pause and think, “How wonderful.”

But, that is not necessarily all good. As suggested by Rick Rytman, former FBI Special Agent and Director of Global Security for Kohler Co.,“This provides both a benefit (piece of mind) and negative (false sense of security). The general attitude, consistent with other villages and school districts similarly situated, is that because of the extremely low risk environment, even though good security policies exist, there is no sense of urgency or diligence to ensure they are understood or strictly followed. Also apparent to a certain extent is a lack of true appreciation of the possible consequences for failing to follow security procedures.”

Spectrum of Safety Awareness

Rytman is telling us something we that we can’t overlook or dismiss: We are currently living in the circle of False Sense of Security on the spectrum of Safety Awareness from Safe and Sound Schools. With urgency: We must be determined to live in the circle of Active Awareness. The entire community’s vigilance to the Golden Rules matters more than ever. The reward is priceless: Our children will be safe and thrive like never before.

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