Who We Are – John Barr

John Barr gets paid to do what he is passionate about–protecting students and staff in the Colonial School District.  As a Security and Safety Specialist, Barr has many responsibilities, but chief among them is to provide a safe learning and working environment for students, staff, and the community through the development of intervention and training programs. “I work with principals to help understand their concerns to create a culture that is intolerant of any offense that endangers the safety of our students and staff. I provide guidance and support to our team of constables that are the first responders to our 14 locations,” Barr says. Given the size of the district, with William Penn being the largest high school in the state, Barr considers his position essential, particularly during a time when many schools are often targeted for unwarranted violence. He says he enjoys teaching safety precautions to administrators, principals and staff adding, “our students’ lives may depend on something as simple as reporting something out of place, someone that is suspicious or someone recommending a change or idea that may increase our safety protocols.” Barr also counts on families to help support student safety saying “I ask them to take a proactive approach when it comes to reporting potential problems. In today’s environment and students being at home more, they become a viable asset in stopping things such as bullying, threats to others, and even the possibility of a student wanting to harm others or themselves.  Lastly I ask them to trust in our constables and know that Colonial has the best resource officers that are providing more than just security for our schools.”   Barr, who came to Colonial after working with Delaware’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security, conducts active shooter training sessions and makes certain schools conduct regular drills and exercises. By working together he knows Colonial is a safer place because so many believe in the Power of WE. “WE are a team that works together to achieve one goal.  I have the responsibility to work with all teams, divisions and locations to help develop and ensure what we are doing is being done with safety in mind.  In my world WE are in this together and it’s my job to be the expert in providing the best guidance and being able to understand everyone’s needs.”