Category Archives: Hannah Clere

Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop speaks about school safety

By Hannah Clere

What you do concerning school safety?

“Well, school safety has been a priority for [the] Floyd County Sheriff’s Department since the Columbine shooting in 1999. At that time I was the SWAT commander here for our SWAT team and I was also the training officer. So I attended trainings across the country on how to train officers and how to respond to school shootings. I also assisted the Floyd County school system in writing their protocols in the school. So we trained in the school, we trained the staff, we helped the school system write their policies and procedures. We have continued that. Since then, every year we do training for the police officers and how to respond to school shootings. It’s not just school shootings, it doesn’t matter to us whether it’s a school or it’s a business; if it is an active shooter, we want to be able to respond.”


What advice would you give to schools to ensure intruder safety?

“First thing that we advise the schools is to be proactive. Note your red flag issues. If you have a student that has gone out of social media, let us know. If you have a student that says something, let us know. Another thing is we need to harden the building. So when I say harden the building, we need to make sure that the building is secure, that intruders can’t get in. When you look at your school building and you know you can only go in one door, that is called hardening the building. Then there are levels of security inside the door. So you have to check in, you have to give your driver’s license, they scan your driver’s license to see who you are, is there a protective order on file or anything like that. We also have the doors numbered, and that is very important because we want to be able to say that there is a problem at Door 4, and everybody knows when they get there they’re going to Door 4.”


What opinions do you have concerning the gun regulations?

“I think that there’s enough laws about gun regulations. Keep in mind that my personal opinion is the gun didn’t kill anybody, the person that had the gun killed somebody. I could take a gun and I can lay it right in the middle of the floor in the cafeteria in your school and it will be fine laying right there, until somebody touches it, picks it up, and points it at somebody else, and puts their finger in the trigger. Then that’s a problem. The gun itself didn’t hurt anybody, it’s the person that had it. We see a large number of people injured on a regular basis with baseball bats, with knives, with all other kinds of weaponry. So the gun’s not the issue. There are plenty of gun laws that are out there. The biggest issue that you have out there that involves school shootings are mental illnesses. So you have to stop and think about the person that is going to do that, most of them don’t think past the killing itself. They don’t think they’re going to survive, they’re willing to die, so you’ve got to say, ‘What is their mental capacity?’ So it’s a mental illness issue. One of the important things that I stress to people on a regular basis, is that we have conflicting laws in this country. So if you have a bad day, and you’re having a time of your life, maybe you’re dealing with a death or you’re dealing with whatever and you check into a hospital for mental illness. Maybe it’s just temporary, maybe you’re just there for a couple of days and you get out and you’re taking medication for a little while, and everything is fine. Then three or four years later you decide to go buy a gun. There is no way to know that you were in the hospital because of the HIPPA laws, no one can tell us that you were in the hospital for mental illness that you had some kind of psychotic behavior or that you were on any kind of treatment. So you have to think about that, that there are things in the way. They won’t show up on a firearms background check. That’s the problem. I’ve been telling legislators and other people, ‘Look we need to fix that.’ Law enforcement and background checks need to know if there was some mental illness in there. The only thing that you can see in a background check is criminal behavior. Well, if you don’t commit any criminal behavior until that day, then there’s no reason to sell you a gun.”


What would you say is the importance of having a resource officer in a school building?

“Well, I’m the one that started the school resource officer program in New Albany Floyd County schools. I was the one that wrote the grant and started that program and in the beginning we saw such a huge connection that was made prior to having a police officer in the school everyday. Students would be very standoffish to police officers and police officers really didn’t know how to deal with students, with younger people. Once we saw how the interaction was with police officers in the building, number one the administration came to love it that they knew that there was a police officer there to help them with the difficult situations of a daily basis. Difficult parents, difficult kids, difficult situations. It took a lot off of their plate. Number two, over the years that we started that — which its been probably 15 or 20 years now that we’ve had police officers in school –we’ve seen a whole culture of young people now relating to law enforcement. So there’s a positive relationship there. The parents love it. There is no way in this community that the parents would stand still for taking police officers out of the building. There’s just no way. They love having an officer there. They know their child is safe and they want that officer there. It’s given us a great relationship with the school system. Were connecting better with the community. A lot of these officers are also involved in coaching and orchestra and different things because of course their kids go there. So there is a connection there, and that is positive for everybody in the community. Not only schools have an officer, but, like, SAM Tech pays a police officer to be out there all the time. They wanted that same relationship. So even in a business they found positive things to have an officer in the building. So SAM Tech pays for a police officer to be there. Almost every Sunday we’ve got almost 10 churches that pay for a police officer to be at church because they’re worried about the same thing that you are. They’re worried about church shootings, which have increased as well.”


Columns: Recent NFL protests spawn discussions from both sides

Art by Tori Roberts

By JD McKay

On Sept. 24 Steelers offensive tackle, Alejandro Villanueva, stood alone at the end of the team’s tunnel to pay his respects for the national anthem and our flag.

Villanueva graduated from West Point in 2010 and became an Army Ranger, serving 20 months overseas and winning the Bronze Star. Now, he is the starting left tackle and currently has the highest selling jersey in the NFL.

This shows what the American people support. They support Villanueva’s stance to stand for the national anthem by dropping $100 for an offensive lineman jersey. There are no other offensive linemen in the top 25. On the morning of Sept. 25, he apologized to his teammates at a press conference for not protesting with his team.

Lesean McCoy is the running back for the Buffalo Bills. On the afternoon of Sept. 24th, he took a very different approach to the national anthem. He ignored the playing of the national anthem and continued his pregame stretches, even though it was clearly not the right time to stretch. Fittingly, McCoy only had 21 rushing yards against the Broncos on Sunday and 48 receiving yards with zero touchdowns.

When I first saw Colin Kaepernick take a knee, it created a wave of emotion in me. My uncle was deployed to Iraq for a one-year tour, and both my grandparents and great uncle have served in other wars. I have seen the effects of war on other people as well. Many veterans suffer from a disease called post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD causes them to lose sleep and not want to look back on their time in combat for years because of their traumatic war experiences.

President Donald Trump has seen what these veterans can deal with and is trying to encourage Americans to support them. I agree with the main idea of Trump’s statement about the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, but calling NFL players “sons of bitches” is not right. The players have the right to do that, but protesting during the national anthem is not benefiting their cause. It is dividing the country. To really make a difference the players need to take more action.

NFL players could set up charities for families who lost family members to police officer shooting or use their influence to talk to the organizations privately that need to change. This change will take more time, more effort, and will get less media attention. Therefore, the NFL players are currently looking for the easiest way to protest and cause a social outcry, something they are doing successfully but not really making a change.

Since 1776, our country had lost 1,200,000 Americans defending our flag and the freedom it represents. Kneeling for for the national anthem is a slap to the face of the families who have lost loved ones in battle as they fought against terrorism, communism, fascism, and tyranny.

Our country stands for freedom and liberty, different from the threats we fought against. Last weekend we saw two opposite stances towards our country’s anthem, the complete disrespect shown by Lesean McCoy, and honor and respect shown by Alejandro Villanueva.

By Hannah Clere

I used to play soccer and stopped a few years ago because I realized I was terrible. However, I learned something important from that sport: when a player was injured, everyone on the field would kneel in order to show respect for the injured player until they were well enough to leave the field.

The recent National Football League (NFL) kneeling controversy has called many issues into question, one of those being disrespect to the United States of America. However, are the players not showing respect to an injured country? Just as I did in soccer, these football players do in their games to call attention to an injury they have seen.

It is undeniable that the U.S. has faced a lot of issues lately. The particular problem that is bringing the NFL players to their knees is police brutality. The events associated with this issue are not fair, but let us save that discussion for another day. For now, we will keep the focus on what the players are working to accomplish.

So now we get to the ultimate question: are these players being disrespectful?

The answer: no.

They are respecting the United States by kneeling in its time of trouble and injury. They kneel to honor their fallen country, which seems to be purest, most innocent intention a loyal citizen can have.

Now we must decide if the effort to push the movement against police brutality and race inequality was wrong. What would you do if nothing you had tried was working? What would you do if you wanted to be heard? What would you do if you did not agree with the direction in which the United States of America is going?

I would stand up for my beliefs. Not in a disrespectful way, however, which is what many are saying these players have done. Which brings up the meaning of disrespect.

Some people say that disrespect is quietly kneeling. Disrespect is when you boo during the national anthem at people exercising their rights as citizens.

Disagreeing with someone or something is not a good reason to be rude. It seems clear that the only thing the NFL players are guilty of is using their First Amendment rights, the rights fought for by our nation’s noble veterans, to get their point across to a system that has failed them.

I love the United States of America. Lately, I have not been able to agree with the brutal and tragic mistreatment of some of our country’s citizens. Because of this, I cannot disagree with the players kneeling. Just as I knelt in soccer, they have the right to kneel. Besides, absentmindedly falling in line is not fair to my country.


Harvest Homecoming committee prepares float for parade

Photos by Hannah Clere

FC alumni football game sparks memories

By Hannah Clere, News Editor and

Aurora Robinson, News Assistant Editor

FC alumni Lee Schmidt stands behind the sizzling grill as excited students and alumni fill in the stands, preparing for a good game.

Last Friday night, the FC vs Seymour game was held, honoring FC’s 50th year. They had a tent set up in the courtyard and were selling burgers inside it.

“We do this event to raise money for scholarships to give to seniors,” said alumni Angela Bowman. “This is one of our main fundraisers.”

Not only were a tent and grill set up, but alumni coaches and athletic directors were recognized out on the field, along with previous principals.

“We had the eight original coaches, and our tent was sponsored. That was pretty awesome, we’re thankful for that. It’s a very successful night,” said Schmidt.

Some alumni expressed their favorite part of the night at the football game.

“Seeing everyone again,” said alumnus Delbert Hillegas. “Having some old students out there, I enjoy seeing them. Even though I am retired, I still missed that.”

This event is one of many throughout the year. One major event is the Alumni Hall of Fame Banquet, scheduled for April 28. The association, founded in 2009, sought to reach out to past Highlanders and get current ones more involved. They hoped to start an organization of some sort while they still had alumni from the original 1967 class still willing to participate.

“We wanted to get this thing rolling before some alumni reached 70,” said Bickers.

The members of the alumni association also wanted to make sure that stories from 50 years ago were not lost and forgotten, including memories about when FC opened its doors on the first day of school 50 years ago.


Head coach Brian Glesing shouts encouraging words to his team after a successful win against Seymour. He always does a great job at keeping the team’s spirits high. Photo by Tori Roberts.