Sheriff conducts risk assessment for Harrison County School District

Sheriff conducts risk assessment for Harrison County School District
Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson reviews notes from conversations he had with students in the Harrison County School District. His office conducted an independent risk assessment for the school district through the eyes of students.

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - School District risk assessments have to be done every year. It's required by state law.

"We are in a constant revision every time we look at it, what needs to be done, improved and updated," said Harrison County Superintendent Roy Gill. "Because it's critical that we do that."

For years, Roy Gill has had assessment help from the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, Gulfport Police, and D'Iberville Police, particularly regarding the district's use of school resource officers.

"We've always, as a school district, tried to make sure that safety is of utmost importance. And anything we can do to help improve our schools and the safety of our boys and girls, we're always going to do that," Gill said.

But for the next school term, an independent study could make the Harrison County School District even safer.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said it is just time to do something to stop the violence. His office conducted an independent risk assessment for Harrison County School District. He said he did it through the eyes of students.

Sheriff Peterson said it started with one conversation with one student. Then, with help from Gill, it blossomed into a much larger conversation with many students.

"I took it from the students' perspective instead of from the teacher's perspective or anybody else's," he said. "I listened to them. And that's what prompted us to go to the schools and actually do our own threat assessment."

It took about a month to create the report that was turned in to the district office.

"I hope it's something they look at and go, 'Okay, this came from not only from the sheriff, but it came from the students themselves. So, let's look at it a little deeper.'"

The district will likely approve the risk assessment guide for next school term in June.

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