photo by Amarion Evans
The Announcer spoke with the newest member of the Nazareth Academy staff, School Resource Officer Jim Edwards to ask him about his past experiences and thoughts on school safety.
Edwards comes to the Nazareth family having recently retired from the Downers Grove Police Force and previously serving as the School Resource Officer at Downers Grove South High School from 2011-2014.
While at Downers Grove South, Edwards collaborated with the staff and faculty there. “I worked on a daily basis with the Dean’s Office and assisted them on any issues that may arise or occur during the school day within the building. From time to time, I would be asked by faculty to come into their classrooms and speak to the students about juvenile laws that pertained to being in school as well as those that applied while out in the community.”
When asked how the transition is going so far, Edwards responded, “Let me start by saying that in the four weeks that I have been working here at Nazareth Academy, the students, staff and parents that I have had contact with have all welcomed me with open arms and helped make my transition into the Nazareth community quite easy.”
With lockdown drills and safety threats becoming the norm locally and nationally, we asked Edwards what he thinks will keep us safe.
He stresses the importance of working with local law enforcement and being clear on protocol. “I feel that the safety protocol and procedures in all schools is the number one priority from my perspective. The school and law enforcement communities as a whole do a great job in collaborating, and working together and coordinating with each other to insure that all within the building feel safe.”
“A few examples are doing ‘Intruder Lockdown Drills’ with the assistance of the LaGrange Park Police Department, as well as making sure to convey to everyone within the building the message of ‘if you see something or hear something, say something,’ says Edwards.
Edwards goes on to say, “Another thing that we all can do, is to make sure that we do not prop open any exterior doors or open doors to any visitors and make sure that all visitors come into the school through the main entrance.”
The addition of School Resource Officer Edwards is another layer of thoughtful foresight and preparation to ensure that we are doing all we can as a school to keep safe.