BREAKING NEWS Morgan County DA: Decatur ‘conman’ gets more than 5 life sentences on theft charge Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

How local schools are keeping students safe

WAAY 31 talked with two superintendents about how their security has changed after mass school shootings.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 12:41 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 6:43 PM

All week long WAAY 31 is showing how school districts are preparing for the new year.

Now, we're focused on the one thing every parent fears the most, a school shooting.

"I'm very concerned, that's why my pastor tells us to pray before we send them off to school," said Geraldine Moore, a local parent. 

Like many, Moore has school safety on her mind as she gets ready to send her kids off to school.

"I thank God it hasn't happened in the area that I'm in," added Moore.

As mass school shootings piled up last school year, Madison City School leaders started to re-evaluate how they keep students safe.

"The number one safeguard is to, if you see something, tell us," said Superintendent Robby Parker.

When Madison students return to class on August 7th, they will notice two new additions to their hallways.

"Every school is covered with a mental health counselor and we feel like that is going to be a great service to our kids. We have an SRO at every school now," added Parker.

The district aimed to raise $750,000 to pay for the extra school resource officers and additional counselors.

People sent in a little more than $20,000 worth of donations.

Now, discretionary funds are paying for the rest of the bill. That money is typically used for extra teachers and classes.

"When you fund school safety, you're funding fewer teachers and less offerings. And we have to find that balance, school safety is an unfunded mandate," said Parker. 

Parker is also in the process of hiring a Safety and Security Coordinator to his staff.

"So we can have somebody that focuses on safety and security all the time at a central office level that is in schools focusing on that,"explained Parker.

While Madison City Schools are working to up their security staff and counselors, Madison County Schools are working to make sure their buildings are safeguarded against any threats.

When walking to the front door of a Madison County school, one of the first new things you'll notice are more secured entrances.

There is a speaker you have to press to talk with someone in the office about why you are on campus.

The office staff can also get a clear picture of whose is at the door with a camera view.

School administrators hope it will help keep anyone from entering campus who shouldn't be there.

"We want those visitors to be able to come into the school but not necessarily have access to the students," explained Superintendent Matt Massey.

The Madison County school board set aside $750,000 for security projects, like securing entrances and giving special access to employees only.

"For elementary schools we really want one point entry for elementary and middle schools, for high schools we are looking at a two point," said Massey.

But they're not stopping there. Next for the school district, a California based group, School Safety Operations, will visit all campuses to see what the district is doing well and where improvements need to be made.

"We may very well need to invest more into safety and maybe they can find somethings we haven't necessarily looked at it," said Massey.

Both Madison County and Madison City say they're ready for kids to have a safe year when they head back to the classroom.

Madison City schools encourage their students to use the private Text to Protect phone line to report any suspicious activity. The phone line protects students identity. The service is free to use and the number is 256-604-2345.

Keith Ward, spokesman for Huntsville City Schools, says the district has upped their security over recent years. Main door entrances at schools remain locked, visitors have to be buzzed in. The district has also worked to add more security cameras throughout the campuses. 

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 87°
Florence
Few Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Decatur
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18354

Reported Deaths: 649
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2271118
Jefferson1859103
Montgomery175843
Tuscaloosa79916
Marshall7009
Franklin5628
Lee55033
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41418
Unassigned3842
Walker3702
Elmore3628
Chambers35825
Madison3434
Baldwin2929
Morgan2871
Dallas2793
Etowah26012
Lowndes25212
DeKalb2493
Coffee2381
Autauga2335
Sumter2247
Houston2214
Bullock2096
Pike2060
Colbert1862
Russell1750
Hale1759
Barbour1721
Marengo1716
Lauderdale1662
Calhoun1643
Choctaw15310
Wilcox1507
Cullman1471
Clarke1462
St. Clair1281
Randolph1277
Dale1220
Marion12211
Pickens1184
Talladega1175
Limestone1080
Chilton1031
Greene954
Winston900
Macon854
Covington811
Jackson812
Henry802
Bibb761
Crenshaw753
Escambia723
Washington716
Blount631
Lawrence500
Monroe432
Geneva430
Perry420
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events