Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Staff Report
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Barnum talks security


April 12, 2018

Last week, we addressed lockdown protocol and safety in the Moose Lake and Willow River schools. This week, we will take a look at Barnum’s.

Superintendent Dave Bottem emphasized the fact that every situation is different — when a lockdown occurs, it could be for a number of reasons. Anything from someone fainting to suspected threat.

What can be called “soft lockdowns,” he said, are used in medical emergencies in order to “protect the privacy of the individual.” In a soft lockdown, hallways are cleared except for the personnel who need to get through.

The school conducts lockdown drills with all personnel and students. These drills are taken seriously and are meant to increase effective response time.

Barnum uses Campus Messenger, which communicates via cell phone with voice messages. While it can be used to alert parents to a situation at the school, Bottem said it is not used for every lockdown engaged — it depends on the situation at hand.

A branch of Homeland Security, the Minnesota School Safety Center, has done a walk-through of the school, Bottem said. They showed Barnum administration what is being done well and what needs to improve. Bottem added that the school works closely with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department as well.

In efforts to continue addressing mental health, the Barnum district seeks to “make contacts with all organizations,” finding resources best suited to their students needs. Counselors are employed by the district and contacts within the mental health community and outside the district are sources of help and information the district looks to.

Staff are also trained in areas of connecting and engaging with students. “The better we know our kids, the better we know how to help them,” Bottem said.


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