Recent Shootings Spark Parent And School Efforts To Prioritize School Safety

AL BIRMINGHAM – Since the massacre at Covenant Christian School in Nashville a week ago, schools nationwide, including this one in Alabama, are examining their safety procedures.

According to a local superintendent, preventing school violence involves more than just taking tactical safeguards because many parents worry about how their children will be cared for once they enter the school’s grounds.

“This one just hit hit in a different way, I think because maybe because Nashville and Birmingham are kind of similar cities, said Melynda Schauer, mother of three, one of which attends a local elementary school. Schauer said she has faith in our local schools, but it’s still scary to think about.”

Recent Shootings Spark Parent And School Efforts To Prioritize School Safety

“[My son] talks about, you know, going into a room and turning off the lights and everyone being quiet. Honestly, just, it broke my heart that that he has already trained for something like that,” Schauer said. She is talking about her son’s active shooter drills as an additional security measure following school massacres.

“Things like this, definitely make us start thinking, ‘Are we doing enough?’” stated Shane Barnette, the superintendent of Cullman County Schools.

He claimed that he constantly has school safety in mind, especially in light of these incidents. Every school in Cullman County will eventually have a second entrance, and some of the larger campuses have just received an additional school resource officer.

Beyond that, though, Barnette asserts that for a supportive environment to flourish, kids must have a sense of connection to one another.

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“I think that is something really important that they belong… if we can get everybody to do that, I think it’s going to minimize the threat and the possibility for violence in our schools,” Barnette said. Their students are grouped together at school as a “family” and are assigned advisors for this reason.

“All of our students have this adult that they go to, and they talk to regularly, whether it be about academics, family life, or whatever it may be,” Barnette said. According to him, the best defense against this kind of violence is for pupils to tell adults what they learn.

“If they hear other people talking about their home life or talking about even, heaven forbid, if they hear them talking about coming to school and harming somebody, to speak up and share that with us so that we can intervene before something tragic happens,” Barnette said.

In addition to reminding your children that being kind to others can go a long way, he advises having chats with them about communicating with a trusted adult if they overhear something troubling.

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