School safety task force starts taking shape

WAAY 31 got details about the soon to be formed task force and how you can get involved.

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 11:14 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 3:26 AM

Details of the soon to be created school safety task force for Huntsville City Schools was released Thursday at the Board of Education meeting. In the coming weeks and months, you will be able to go to meetings and even apply to be on the task force itself. We still don't know when the application will be created though.

One parent we spoke with at the meeting is all for making schools safer through the task force, "I think it's very important we do this," said Preeti Francis who is excited to be part of creating the task force.

There will be a selection process for the people who apply. They will join city leaders to make up the task force, but first there will be community engagement meetings which will cover: School security measures; state, local, and federal legislative fixes; awareness; and parent involvement and accountability. An example of which is locking up guns at home so students don't bring them to school.

The engagement forum meetings will be held at each of the five high schools in Huntsville. All of them will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The schedule for the meetings will be:

Columbia High School on October 1st.

Grissom High School on October 2nd.

Jemison High School on October 3rd.

Lee High School on October 15th.

Huntsville High School on October 17th.

The meetings will be split into smaller group style meetings because the district said that smaller groups will be better for fostering achievable ideas.

"I think that's vital because this is really a community problem and the community needs to get involved in helping solve it," said Francis.

Francis said she believes her children in the district are safe, but that has no bearing on the importance of the task force.

"Schools have to be proactive and anticipate because every time there's one barrier put on somebody finds a way around it, so we have to kind of think of all scenarios."

Even the task force might not prevent everything.

"We want to try and prevent one hundred percent of everything; every possibility. We may not be successful, but we do have to try," said Francis.

After the community engagement meetings in early and mid-October, the task force will be selected in November. They will have a few months to come up with ideas and will have their first presentation to the board of education in February.

Superintendent Finley backed down from her clear backpack policy idea at the meeting Thursday because she wants to let the soon to be formed task force to come up with the ideas.

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