Fuller asks commission to partner in school safety planPublished 10:58pm Monday, February 25, 2013
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller announced the Board of Education wants to partner with state and county governments to address the county’s school safety issues.
Fuller presented a five-step school safety plan at the request of the Shelby County Commission during the Feb. 25 commission meeting.
“Are there any 100 percent guarantees to provide complete school safety? No, but we’re constantly working to improve,” Fuller said.
As a part of the safety plan, an architect employed by the school system is reviewing county schools’ entrance areas, as well as security camera placement and locking systems.
Fuller said a goal of the school system is to support school resource officers in each of the county’s nine school zones. The officers would rotate among the schools for coverage.
Fuller also referenced how “our students are everywhere,” from field trips to after-school athletic practices and youth sports, where they are not directly protected by a law enforcement officer.
“We want to put our arms around common sense and understanding,” Fuller said. “Do we put a law enforcement officer in every place in our county? No, but we do have a presence.”
Fuller concluded by asking the commission to partner with the BOE, municipal governments and state and federal governments. Fuller said he will meet with the county’s municipality leadership to discuss additional partnerships.
“Consider being a partner in our efforts and work together to provide safe schools in Shelby County,” Fuller said to the commission.
Commission Chairwoman Lindsey Allison said the commissioners will be “shareholders.”
“I look forward to your leadership in how we can help,” she said.
During the meeting’s public comment session, Calera resident Ty Coffey, who started the online petition Safeshelbycountyschools.com, told the commission the schools need “quick and decisive action.”
Coffey said the petition, which has more than 950 signatures, was created to petition the commission to work with the BOE, fund Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry’s plan to place deputies in county schools and “put our money where your mouth is.”
Heather Mahaffey, an Oak Mountain mother of three, addressed the commission by stating it’s not a security issue, but a safety issue.
“There should be nothing more important on your agenda,” she said.