SCHOOL SAFETY UPDATES
August 8, 2022
The Bowling Green Independent School District has been working throughout the summer to review and enhance safety plans for schools, including adding mental health supports and more School Resource Officers across the district.
In July 2022, BGISD added a third full-time Student and Family Counselor, Katie Wood, to join Counselors Tanner Steelman and Amy Carter. The district also expanded the partnership with LifeSkills to add LifeSkills Counselors to school buildings including Jenna Hughes, Cassey Jessup, Emily Locke, Jessica Maddox, Jess McLeod, and Janet Rodriguez. The district’s mental health team will work together to provide counseling and one-on-one guidance to help students to work through stress, anxiety, or trauma in their personal lives.
Bowling Green Police Chief Delaney and Warren County Sheriff Hightower have also worked with school leaders to add School Resource Officers for the upcoming school year. The Bowling Green Police Department will continue to partner with BGISD to have a School Resource Officer assigned to Bowling Green High School. Officer Matt Wheat will be the School Resource Officer for BGHS for the 2022-2023 school year. New this year, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office will add two School Resource Officers for BGISD with Deputy Dominic Ossello assigned to Bowling Green Junior High, and Deputy Rebecca Robbins assigned to BGISD elementary schools and the Bowling Green Learning Center.
Deputies Ossello and Robbins will be sworn in at the Warren County Fiscal Court meeting on August 12, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. at 429 E 10th Ave.
By law, county sheriff’s offices may hire retired law enforcement officers to serve as School Resource Officers in Kentucky schools. Bowling Green Police Chief Michael Delaney says, “The Bowling Green Police Department is excited about the opportunity to partner and collaborate with Sheriff Hightower. The goal is to provide a safe place for all students in Bowling Green and Warren County to receive an education. Partnering with the Sheriff’s Department will allow us to accomplish this mission.”
Sheriff Brett Hightower says, “The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is ecstatic about this new cooperative effort and is a direct reflection on our priorities to ensure that children here in Warren County have an optimal learning environment while prioritizing student relationships, safety and welfare.”
All School Resource Officers in Bowling Green Independent Schools will be visible and accessible, and they are expected to build relationships with the school leadership, faculty and staff, and students. These officers are not disciplinarians. They assist with the implementation of the school safety plans and may also assist with safety training as needed. When concerns arise outside of the school building, both agencies will coordinate efforts for investigations and response.
Superintendent Gary Fields says, “Providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff is our number one priority. School safety is not only the physical infrastructure of our buildings, but also the social and emotional needs of our students and staff. The ability to partner with outstanding local organizations creates a multi-tiered system of support for our entire school community.”