Safety within the Dexter Public School system has consistently been at the forefront. The issue of student safety is discussed on a regular basis, with updates brought before all administrators in their weekly dialogues.
Perhaps never in the history of the public school system, however, has the subject of safety been a key issue in America than during the week that has followed the shooting deaths of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Legislative proposals are on the table that if passed, would enable qualified school personnel to respond with what Sharp refers to as "retaliatory force."
"In my opinion," Sharp says, "these proposals must be addressed by our state government."
"The physical and emotional safety of our students is in the constant forethought of everyone associated with Dexter Schools," the superintendent confirms.
For the past three years, the local district's emergency plans have been under a review and updating process under the direction of former Asst. Supt. Bryce Matthews and current Asst. Supt. Dr. Roger Alsup. Alsup continues in the role, investigating procedures, options, and safety issues through ongoing discussions alongside both state and local law enforcement.
While tornado and fire drills have been commonplace in public schools for decades, students also regularly participate these days in intruder drills. Once innocent six-year-olds today realize the reason why they are required to "practice" staying safe should they ever be faced with someone in their midst who wishes to do them harm.
While the intruder drills are expected to prepare students and staff as to a direction to take should the worst case scenario occur, there is much more to be done, says Sharp.
Security cameras are in operation all across the Dexter district, with additional ones under consideration. Their implementation has viewed by some as a violation of privacy.
"Today," Sharp says, "even more stringent measures are being investigated and will be adopted as prevention measures continue to be explored."