Setting the safety standard

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By SLADE BLACKWELL / Guest Columnist
School safety has been on the minds of educators and policy makers a great deal over the past decade. Access to media outlets and social media has allowed us to see up-to-the-minute news stories from around the country and, too often, we see stories of school tragedies that break our hearts and leave us thinking “How can this be prevented?” I am proud to say that Shelby County’s Board of Education has been working hard to answer that question.
The Shelby County Board says that safety has always been a priority for their school district, but now school safety is in a framework that is comprehensive, sustainable and specifically meets the needs of each community in Shelby County. The plan demonstrates a great partnership between the various governmental agencies, city leaders, law enforcement and the school district.
“We feel that the Shelby County Schools safety initiative is a plan that addresses multi-levels of prevention. It is unified and implemented at all of our Shelby County Schools,” said Shelby Superintendent Randy Fuller.
The Shelby County Board of Education has implemented a five-point plan to provide students and educators with a learning environment free of violence, intimidation, and fear. The board sought to engage the entire community in establishing their school safety initiative by creating relationships with law enforcement, first responders, local government, social service networks, parents and students.
Superintendent Fuller and Assistant Superintendent Lewis Brooks met with the members of the Shelby legislative delegation in September to discuss the implementation of the project and what to expect moving forward. The initiative has been successfully implemented here in Shelby County and now other county school boards are using the Shelby County Board of Education’s safety initiative framework to create school safety initiatives of their own.
School safety is something that needs to be examined and altered as time goes on. The school safety initiative that the Shelby Board has implemented has created a standard that the board can use for years to come.