Helena Middle School earns top safety award

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange presented the 2015 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Award of Excellence to Helena Middle School on Tuesday, April 26. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange presented the 2015 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Award of Excellence to Helena Middle School on Tuesday, April 26. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Helena Middle School students and faculty, along with city leaders and more filed into the HMS gymnasium the morning of Tuesday, April 26, as the school received a prestigious statewide safety award.

Helena was one of the 10 award recipients for the 2015 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Awards of Excellence and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange traveled to Helena Middle School to personally present the award and commend the school, its administration and faculty on the emphasis placed on school safety.

“I want you to know and be proud that you have one of the safest schools in the entire state of Alabama,” said Strange. “We have hundreds of schools in our state and we only select a handful for our States School Initiative. I want to thank the teachers and the administration for their great proposal. It was judged by a number of professionals in this field of law enforcement and education and Helena Middle School was the winner.”

Before introducing Strange, Helena Middle School principal Scott Knight thanked a number of individuals and the HMS faculty for their support in helping the school win the award.

“I am very proud of the two people who will be standing up here in a few minutes to receive this award from our attorney general,” said Knight. “Mrs. Cofer and officer Lowery have done an outstanding job developing our school safety plan. They’re continuously looking at ways to tweak the plan to make sure that every possible emergency scenario is covered. I also want to thank our teachers and staff who see the importance of school safety and go the extra mile each day to ensure that our student’s know what to do in case of an emergency.”

Strange said that the safety rules and plans implemented by HMS will also benefit other schools statewide.

“Not only are you winning something today but other students around the state win too,” said Strange. “What we do is we take the ideas we get from schools like Helena, such as training substitute teachers and we put it all in a packet and share it with school all across our state so that every student from every school has the opportunity to benefit from the type of school that you have.”

Helena Middle School is part of the Shelby County Schools District and more than 800 sixth through eighth grade students attend the school.