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National Trail Schools looks to former secret service agents to find security flaws

NEW PARIS, OHIO (WKEF/WRGT) - It's been more than a month since Champaign Co. Sheriff's deputies say Ely Serna shot Logan Cole inside West Liberty-Salem High School.

Cole is back in school but it sent a warning to districts and parents across Ohio.

"It absolutely terrifies me knowing that it could happen in such a small town, small areas, farm towns even," said Janet Ballinger, a parent of a student at National Trail.

Schools across the nation and here in the Miami Valley are looking for ways to make sure their students are as safe as possible.

"I know there have been a lot of recent incidents and I know this school as well as others have really amped up their game, their training with the teachers and their security," said Coral Crowell another parent we talked with.

National Trail Schools in Preble County brought in a consultant group of former secret service members to try and find weaknesses in their security.

"We felt like there's no better way to utilize our experience and expertise in security than protecting our kids," said Todd Bagby with Secure Education Consultants.

Bagby worked for the secret service for more than 25 years.

Bagby says Secure Education Consultants goes beyond just active shooter training.

He says they look at more than just things like doors and locks, they look at safety plans, even how kids come in and out of the buildings.

Bagby says the most important thing is training.

"When these incidents occur, you don't rise to the level of the incident, you sink to the level of your training," said Bagby.

I talked with more than a dozen parents as they waited to pick up their kids outside National Trail Schools.

It's the only school in the area that's gotten the presidential treatment.

"It's not surprising though, (National) Trail is one of the better schools in the area. It's very reassuring to know that they went above and beyond to know that there are no security breaks," said Crowell.

"The fact that they go through so many measures just for me to pick up my kid in the afternoon, to make sure I talk to somebody is enough to reassure me that they're all safe here," said Brandi Ibarra, another parent we talked with.

Janet Ballinger's daughter just recently started attending National Trail.

"Since she has been here, she has even said how much more comfortable and how much more carefree she is when she walks through the halls. She's not a bit afraid like she used to be," said Ballinger.

School shootings are something none of the parents we talked with had to deal with growing up.

"Unfortunately it seems to be the way the world is going. You hear about school shootings and mall shootings just about every day now," said Ibarra.

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