CLIO (WJRT) - (09/17/2019) - Clio Area Schools are asking for help from people living nearby - to hold off shooting firearms during school hours after 2 separate instances last week forced elementary schools into lockdown.
The 2 incidents – the first involving a resident shooting a wild animal that had attacked their dog. And the other, a neighbor taking target practice on their property.
Clio Area School Superintendent Fletcher Spears sent out a note asking neighbors to help eliminate future lock-down incidents.
"This was just more hey if you can work with us we would certainly appreciate it,” said Spears. “When we don't know the origin of a firearm discharge then we go into lockdown."
Spears says the last thing they want to do is limit people's rights - in fact he supports them, but they want to prevent disruptions to the school day.
"We certainly don't want to infringe on anybody's right to participate in that activity either,” said Spears. “We're just asking that during school hours, approximately 8:40 to 3:45 in the afternoon during school. If individuals that are living near the schools would refrain from a discharge of firearms."
Even though both occurrences turned out to be false alarms -- if the school hears gunshots near the schools they must take the possible threat seriously.
"Our first responsibility is to provide a safe and orderly environment where learning can take place,” said Fletcher. “If there are firearms being discharged and we don't know why immediately we have to go down into safety mode."
Spears does give credit to his teachers, as well as the students for how they handle the two lockdowns. It's something they spend a good deal of training on.
"Given the number of shootings across the United States, we can't assume it won't happen in Clio. We certainly hope that it never happens in Clio but we have to train for that."
Spears says he hopes the community understands and limits any shooting near schools to either before school, after school, or weekends.