In the wake of the shooting that claimed the lives of two students and injured 21 others, Marshall County High School is requiring all students to have their bags, backpacks and purses checked before entering school.
Along with that change, the school announced a few other security protocols going into place this week.
Students arriving by car will enter through door No. 30 at the lower main gym lobby, or door No. 10 at the auxiliary gym. Students needing wheelchair access may enter through door No. 36 near the office doors.
Bus riders will use their usual doors (1 and 2) under the canopy by the main office. Staff will instruct students where to go once they leave the bus.
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Those arriving a little later — after 8:03 a.m. — are required to check in at the office through door No. 1.
Larry Zacheretti, who heads McCracken County Schools' team of school resource officers, said he expects the shooting to prompt many school districts to evaluate and change their security procedures.
"I've heard things every day since (the shooting) where people are really trying to beef it up," he said of security, adding he has been asked by other area schools for advice.
McCracken County's team, which reports directly to school district officials and operates independently of area law enforcement, was commissioned in the wake of the Heath High School shooting, which marked its 20th anniversary in December.
"It can happen anywhere at any time," Zacheretti said, though he never expected to see another one in the area.
When it comes to school security, his main advice is to have dedicated, armed resource officers stationed at a school. "I think that in itself is going to be a deterrent," he said.
Kentucky State Police officials said troopers had recently trained Marshall County school personnel in how to respond to an active shooter situation.
Spokesman Jody Cash said the training the department provides includes both lecture and scenario-based training, and state police also give a safety assessment to each location they visit.
When asked whether that training had an impact on the response to the shooting, Cash said he hoped so.
"I think there's a bigger awareness that these kind of situations could happen," he said.
Officials have said a school resource officer was on duty at Marshall the day of the shooting, but other details, including the officer's location at the time, have not been released.
With four officers dedicated to McCracken County High School and eight officers in the district overall, McCracken's ratio of security officers to students is favorable compared to districts across the state, Zacheretti said.
He said his advice to the decision-makers in any county would be to prioritize the safety of the students by spending more money on resource officers.
Zacheretti also addressed the issue of bag checks and metal detectors.
Most schools in McCracken County bag check randomly, he said, partially because of time constraints -- the same reason district schools don't have metal detectors.
"You can effectively get 300 people through a metal detector in an hour," he said, with the detector set to a sensitivity that would pick up any weapons.
For a school like Marshall County with around 1,500 students, two or three metal detectors would take too long to search everyone, even if each detector were staffed with a dedicated guard, he said.
"There's a security concern when you've got kids lined up out the door bottlenecking," he said, adding that could present an attractive target to someone intent on doing harm.
Aside from increasing the officers, Zacheretti said a key component in preventing shootings involves authority figures in the school forming relationships with the students.
From guidance counselors and teachers to security personnel, Zacheretti said, valuable tips often come from students who feel comfortable reporting to the authorities.
"We really rely heavily on communication and relationships with the students," he said.
Even with the best relationships and the best security, he said, access to guns at home can't be prevented by school security, and some students may not have good situations at home or be bullied, leading them to act out violently.
"There's a huge responsibility with gun ownership now … securing these things and making them inaccessible to kids," Zacheretti said.
He added parents should be closely involved in their children's lives, especially if they notice their children becoming more enamored with violence in their entertainment.
"If (you) see it happening, you've got to address it. Don't just look at it and ignore it."