County board of education discusses school security

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller said he hopes to present board members with a comprehensive and sustainable school security plan “in the coming weeks.”

The remarks came during the May 16 Shelby County Board of Education meeting. Fuller said Dr. Lewis Brooks, assistant superintendent of administration, has been working on a school security plan this spring.

“(Brooks) has worked diligently in putting time into meeting with our governmental entities,” Fuller said. “We have 10-12 governmental entities in our county: the municipalities in our school zones, the sheriff’s department, the county commission.”

Fuller said school board members have also been attending sessions on safety and security. He said he felt the new security plan will be “sustainable” and a “model for success.”

“What is a model for success in a security and safety plan? It’s everyone working together for the safety of our kids,” he said.

Fuller also said the state and federal government may contribute funding for a safety plan.

“We hope our state government will be putting some contributions together for our safety and security – and our federal government. We’re seeing that they’re stepping up too,” he said.

Mary Jayne Herring, who said she has four children in four different Oak Mountain schools in Shelby County, urged the board to include armed law enforcement officers in the new security plan.

“I believe looking at schools’ entrances, locked doors and placement of security cameras are important aspects for safer schools,” she said during public comments. “But once the final safety plan is complete, if it does not include an armed law enforcement officer in every Shelby County school, then our safety plan is missing its most important component.”

The next Shelby County Board of Education meeting will be June 6 at 4 p.m. at the Central Office building in Columbiana.