We have crowned another queen! The 2016 Pleasant Hill High School Courtwarming Games and Ceremonies were held on Friday, Feb. 5. This year, both the Rooster and Chick basketball teams hosted the event during a double-header against the Harrisonville Wildcats. Above, senior Claire Villegas receives her tiara from 2015 Courtwarming Queen Olivia Woodruff. On the courts, the Chicks lost a heart-breaker in the opening round, but the Roosters had the hometown fans walking out happy with a big-time conference win. See the photo on Page 6 of the 2016 Courtwarming royalty. (Times photo by Kerry Warman)
Paintball gun scare at Middle School just a drill
By KERRY WARMAN
Times News Editor ...An intruder drill at the Pleasant Hill Middle School last week scared a parent so badly that he called a Kansas City television station to voice his concern. ...The Pleasant Hill R-3 School District and the Pleasant Hill Police Department were conducting a drill to help train staff members the proper procedures in dealing with a person coming into the building armed with a gun. ...Assistant Superintendent Dr. John Griffith posed as the gunman and carried a paintball gun into the Middle School—after school had dismissed for the day and all students were out of the building. ...Dr. Griffith sent the following information to the Pleasant Hill Times concerning the event: ...“Staff at the Pleasant Hill Elementary School and Middle School participated in active shooter training on the early out day on Jan. 29, 2016. The R-3 District took this opportunity to train staff in these two buildings, while students were not present due to the early release. ...“Teachers reacted in real time to a scenario presented to them as the intruder traveled through various parts of the building. When the drill was completed, teachers and staff gathered together with administration and local law enforcement to debrief what took place during the drill. ...“We are very fortunate to have an outstanding working relationship with the First Responders in our community and appreciate the time and effort they put forth to help protect our students and staff. ...However, a parent who was waiting for their child to be let out of the Primary School, just a short distance from the Middle School, and saw Griffith entering the building with the gun. ...The witness prepared to call 911 to report the incident, but observed several police officers nearby. Contact was made with one of the officers, who told the parent this was only a training exercise and there was no danger. ...However, the parent told Fox 4 television news that the incident could have been disastrous if someone else with a real gun had seen what was going on and possibly tried to stop the man from entering the school. ...The district sent a letter to parents and others in the area concerning the incident: ...“We apologize for any anxious moments one of our parents experienced last week during a regular safety training exercise for staff. The training occurred after school was dismissed on Friday January 29, 2016 at the Middle School. This particular training was an intruder drill and was done in conjunction with the Pleasant Hill Police Department which had numerous officers on hand. There were no students in the building, and this being the case, parents were not notified. Although the parent was informed by an officer at the school that this was a safety drill, we realize it did cause angst for that parent. The district takes the safety preparedness of our staff very serious and always work in cooperation with law enforcement but in this instance should have been more cautious when bringing a paintball gun into the middle school. We keep information regarding safety drills confidential so district protocols are not public knowledge and cannot be used to harm students in the event of an actual emergency. At this time we plan to continue the confidentiality of safety training but will notify parents if any training will alter their students’ schedules or if students are in the drill area. We will also alter our procedures for bringing drill supplies into buildings.