Selma City Schools to reduce number of part time security guards

Published 6:14 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Selma City School System is reverting back to its original contract for school security, which means a reduction in part-time security guards.

Within the past year, two additional part-time security guards were added on a need basis. Now, the need is no longer there because of increased monitoring by teachers, according to Superintendent Dr. Angela Mangum, and the two part-time officers will no longer be used.

“We are continuing with our contract that we had before with the security,” Mangum said. “Teachers have been proactive in monitoring students and the number of fights were cut in half as a result of a renewed emphasis on monitoring students at all times. We believe that we’re really making huge strides in making sure that students are safe and that they are monitored at our school.”

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The school system has multiple security officers for Selma High School, R.B. Hudson Middle School and Phoenix Alternative School as well as one police officer who can travel between Selma High and Hudson Middle as needed. With the security contract, additional security guards can be granted if needed.

During the meeting, school board president Henry Hicks Sr. expressed the concern of reducing the security. He wanted to make sure it was clear in the contract that additional services could be provided in the event they were needed.

“I want to make sure we have enough security for our children. I understand the position of the superintendent; we don’t want it to look like a prison, but we also need to make sure with all the things that are going on in the world today, that our kids and faculty are safe,” Hicks said. “Kids are kids. They’re going to be kids. Kids fight at school. I’m whatever age and I fought in school. But it’s a little bit more dangerous now because kids have guns, they have knives and all this kind of stuff.”

The effectiveness of long time security guards were also discussed during the meeting. Board member Frank Chestnut Jr. said it’s possible for guards to get comfortable in the routine of everyday and become less effective over time. Mangum said the company providing the security evaluates each guard’s effectiveness.

The next school board meeting will be held July 25 at 5 p.m. at the Selma High School Library.