It started with a simple video posted to social media just two days after a deadly shooting at a Florida school that killed 17 students on Valentine’s Day.
On Monday, Corbin attorney Shane Romines made good on his promise to provide up to $25,000 to the Corbin Independent School System for metal detectors and other measures to improve school safety. Including donations from other area citizens inspired by his online effort, Romines presented school system superintendent David Cox with a check for $51,400 and four portable, wand-style metal detectors.
“Thank you for working with us and letting us help you out,” Romines told Cox after presenting him the money and detectors Monday at the Board of Education offices. “Thank you for keeping our kids safe.”
Cox said the wands, and money, will be particularly useful because of currently-planned cuts in education spending, proposed in the current session of the General Assembly, would negatively impact Corbin to the tune of $800,000 next year.
Romines initially offered funding for large, pass-through style detectors found in airports and other facilities to be installed in each school. Cox said after consulting with security experts, teachers and members of the Board of Education, it was decided that the wands and funding to help keep current to even hire more school resource officers was appropriate.
“The school resource officers have become an integral part of what we do,” Cox said.
“With limited funds, the best thing you can do is put a trained security officer on your campus and that’s what we plan to do.”
The school system currently has two SRO’s to cover its five schools and preschool center. The officers are stationed, regularly, at Corbin Middle School and Corbin High School, but may be called to the other schools when needed. The officers are part of the Corbin Police Department, but are paid for through a grant program. Funding for the grant runs out at the end of the school year.
“This is an extremely generous donation. Our community is a special place. They’ve stepped up for anything and everything in years past, so in one way, I’m not really surprised by this,” Cox said. “In another way, for someone to walk in and give you $50,000 in this economic climate is truly a godsend. It’s been a blessing to us. We are certainly glad to have it and it will be put to good use.”
Cox said the metal detectors would be used wherever the district has SROs, as needed. The money, he added, would be used to help keep the two SROs now in the schools in place, or add additional officers, if possible.
“I don’t want our district to spend money in any way it is not intended,” Cox said. “We certainly appreciate the efforts of our community and Mr. Romines and we want to honor what they intend this money to be used for.”
Romines said the school shooting in Florida wasn’t really the impetus behind the video, but rather discussion on Facebook from someone he knew saying that students be provided with bulletproof backpacks.
“She said ‘you ought to buy one of those for every kid in the Corbin School System,’” Romines said. “I said that might be a little more than I can do, but why don’t we get metal detectors and make sure nothing gets in. That’s what really started it for me.”
He’s helped other area school districts with funding too, through his social media campaign, including East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Whitley County, Knox County and others.