School Safety continues to be a concern for state educators. It was the subject of a work session called by Alabama Board of Education members Thursday.
State Superintendent Tommy Bice is asking for each school district to submit a safety plan.
For Ozark Schools, that means making immediate changes. Superintendent Michael Lenhart said they started with securing school entrances. "You can't just walk into the school and walk around, which has caused some problems amongst parents. Some parents were a little angry about it, but once we explain it's for the safety of the children they're okay with it," continued Lenhart.
D.A. Smith Middle School is getting new window treatments. As it is now, you can see directly into each classroom from the outside of the building. "Anybody that wanted to commit havoc at a school could go up to D.A. Smith and look into the classroom and target students because they can see them. If they had a riffle they could actually take aim. By putting window treatments in a shooter wouldn't have any visible targets," explained Lenhart.
Studies show modern schools face threats that were unheard of decades ago. Lenhart said they kept that in mind while designing the new Carroll High School. "There is no door that can open from the outside once we let the students in each morning," explained Lenhart.
If security is breached and an intruder enters the school, they would be isolated by an automatic fence that has been installed in the new building. The school is also equipped with a video surveillance system and three safe rooms that can hold 1,100 students.