Hartselle Superintendent Mike Reed, Ed. D. announced Thursday, Jan. 24, that the school system will not be conducting a “live action shooter” drill during school hours next month. Reed posted a letter on the school system’s website explaining their safety committee’s recommendations.
The explanation comes after the Monday, Jan. 14, regular school board meeting where members of the Hartselle School System’s Safety Committee proposed the possibility of having a “live action shooter” drill at a Hartselle elementary school during school hours.
Director of School Operations Jerry Reeves discussed the system’s safety Jan. 14, along with Police Chief Ron Puckett, Fire Chief Steve Shelton, Superintendent Mike Reed and Education Specialist Jim Toney. Reeves ,along with Eddie Hicks, the Executive Director of the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, presented the idea to the school board for further discussion and/or consideration at the next meeting to be held Feb. 11.
The live action shooter drill, part of the Homeland Security exercise program, would have been similar to the lockdown drills, where students are present, already in place with the exception of including law enforcement agencies and emergency workers onsite, with fake weapons, and an “ suspect” with fake weapons.
However, Reed said in the letter released Thursday that the Safety Committee met and concluded that they would recommend that the board approve having the mock intruder drill during non-school hours, which would be coordinated with Hartselle City Police, Fire, school officials, the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, as well as community volunteers.
“…The committee has made the following recommendations as part of an ongoing consolidated safety and security plan for Hartselle City Schools. These recommendations are in addition to the current safety practices and exercises currently in place and will take place over the course of the next 12 months.
1. Continue current lock-down drills district - wide. These drills are currently conducted at all schools at least once per year.
2. Coordinate with Hartselle City Police, Fire and school officials in a combination lock-down and evacuation drill. Although Hartselle City Schools has both lock-down and evacuation procedures, these procedures have never been practiced in conjunction with one another. The purpose of this drill will be to evaluate our procedures and learn if adjustments should be needed in the event of a lock-down followed by evacuation incident.
3. Coordinate with Hartselle City Schools Faculty, City Police and Fire, Morgan County Emergency Management Agency as well as community volunteers to conduct a mock intruder drill in one of the schools during NON SCHOOL HOURS. The purpose of this drill will be to evaluate communication and coordination among all public agencies and school system in the event of a school intruder incident. The school location for this drill will be determined at a later date and it will take place during non-school hours and students will not need to be present.
4. Continue school safety assessments that began in December, 2012 to determine if additional security equipment or resources are needed for individual schools.”
Find the full letter at hartselletigers.org.
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