Mount Vernon, OH- Knox County Career Center (KCCC) has added additional layers to
their KCCC School Safety Plan.
School safety has always been a focus at KCCC. Administrators communicate regularly
with students and parents the importance of safety and elements of our plan. Everything from
lab safety, bus evacuations, fire drills, ALICE training, use of cameras, use of IDs, changes to
reception areas, and many other security measures have been implemented over the years. All
steps taken point to KCCC’s goal of ensuring student and staff safety. KCCC has also utilized
advanced security technology, hired a part-time SRO, and had countless comprehensive and
individual safety training sessions. Knox County Career Center Schools District, which includes
the KCCC Preschool and Knox Technical Center, along with the KCCC High School participate
locally with a P-20 Safety Committee that includes all local schools, colleges, and law
Situational awareness will be the main topic during teacher and staff in-service this
week. This is another important layer to safety training for all staff with information that applies
while at school or after hours. Topics such as the OODA Loop and Stop, Look, Assess, and
Manage will be covered by trainers from Elite Preparedness, Mount Vernon Police Department,
and Knox County Sheriff Office.
“Being aware of your surroundings and looking at situations from a threat assessment
mindset is important. We have a variety of drills at the career center that involve students and
staff in thinking through situations. I appreciate how supportive our local first responders are of
training us and training with us throughout the year. We are very fortunate to be in Knox
County,” Superintendent Kathy Greenich shared.
In early 2018, KCCC administration began working with the KCCC Board of Education,
local law enforcement agencies, and state trainers to implement an intensive training plan for a
small group of employees to meet the requirements for being armed on school grounds. This
was done in partnership with the Knox County Sheriff and Mount Vernon Police Chief.
At that time, in the State of Ohio, Boards of Education could determine if they wanted
that part of the safety plan to be public or confidential. The decision was made to be
This small group of employees was vetted in various areas and methods that exceeded
the state requirements. The standards for these employees at KCCC go above and beyond
those required. This training included state training through FASTER Saves Lives and local
training with School Resource Officer Armstrong, Mount Vernon PD, Knox County Sheriff
Deputies, SWAT team members, and others. Each employee has to pass an Ohio Peace Officer
Training Academy qualification test each year.
In June of 2021, an Ohio court decision ended the ability for school districts to arm staff.
In recent months, Governor DeWine signed HB99, which set new standards and requirements.
Part of the new requirements is that staff and parents need to be notified.
The small group of employees continued training and meeting requirements even during
the year and a half when they could not carry. Steps are being taken to fulfill all of the new HB99
requirements at this time. The original training and new training for these employees at KCCC
include countless school scenarios, medical training, monthly training requirements, a
psychological exam, and more.
The identities of the armed employees will remain confidential to ensure their safety and
to increase the effectiveness of our safety plan.
MVPD School Resource Officer Jeremiah Armstrong says, “In my years working with the
Knox County Career Center, it is clearly obvious that student safety is a top priority. This is
another layer of security. I have confidence in these individuals as I train them and train with
“I am grateful the Governor has restored this opportunity to schools. Of all my duties and
responsibilities as the superintendent of Knox County Career Center Schools, my highest
priority is to ensure your child’s safety while at school. This is just one piece in our very intensive
safety plan,” concluded Greenich.