Keeping Students Safe

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Last August, 17-year-old Chasen Schied shot and killed his girlfriend, Shannon Brown, and then himself in an apparent murder suicide. Since then, details have surfaced that their relationship may have been abusive for some time.

Victims of violent crime, whether it be domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual, can ask a judge for an order of protection.

Judge William Stone says, "If the petitioner, the person asking for the order has children and they're concerned for the safety of their children, they can ask the court to prohibit the respondent from going within 500 feet of the school the petitioner attends or the petitioner's children attends."

But until now, schools had no official way of getting that information. Friday, Okaloosa County officials held a press conference detailing a new procedure of notifying schools about violence cases.

"The purpose of this is to be certain that the school board is in power to maintain their schools safety and maintain the public trust that the orders report will be properly enforced in every situation."

The process begins when School Safety Specialist Marcus Chambers alerts specific schools to protection orders with a fax and phone call.

“We're not notifying every single person in the school. The pertinent people will be the ones who will be notified, the people who will come into contact with these students.”

The new policy goes into effect immediately with the hope of preventing violent crimes from getting worse. County officials say the new policy has been in the works since last November and is not in response to any specific incident.


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