Dallas County Board Of Education discusses security

Published 6:30 am Tuesday, May 31, 2022

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Members of the Dallas County Board of Education discussed school security and safety during a board meeting held Thursday at the Dallas County Courthouse Commissioners Chamber.

The subject proved to be a timely discussion in the wake of the mass shooting that occurred in Uvalde, Texas, two days prior.

District 1 Board Member William Minor asked Superintendent Hattie Shelton if it would be possible to bring in school resource officers.

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“That would be something we would need to talk to the county commission about,” Shelton said. “I have not had that opportunity to talk to them about it.”

Shelton added the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office requires its deputies to do a walkthrough of a school in the system every day school is in session.

Board President Mark Story said if the schools are able to bring in SROs, there should be a room set aside for the officers to use as an office for taking care of paperwork or other needs pertaining to their jobs. He added some systems have been bringing in retired police officers to serve as security for schools.

Story inquired whether the classrooms had deadbolt-style locks or a key-lock system, to which Shelton confirmed the latter.

Shelton said the teachers are required to keep the keys to the classroom so they can secure the classroom in the event of an emergency.

Other preventative measures brought up by the board included active shooter training and lockdown procedures for campuses unable to have a single point of entry due to having multiple buildings.

Minor said one measure he heard being discussed on television was the possibility of training teachers to use firearms, but he added he didn’t believe that approach would work for the school system here.

In other business, the board:

• Voted to approve the meeting agenda;

• Recognized nearly a dozen retirees for their work and dedication to the school system;

• Voted to approve the consent agenda;

• Received an administrative report from Shelton;

• Approved monthly financial statements for April;

• Voted to approve field trip requests for Tipton-Durant Middle School students to travel and stay overnight on the campus of Birmingham Southern College on June 13-14 and for Keith High School students to travel and stay overnight in Montgomery May 11-13;

• Discussed an Illumination Agreement offered by Alabama Power Company where the company would replace lights on the campuses of Dallas County High School, Tipton-Durant, J.E. Terry Elementary, Valley Grande Elementary, Bruck K. Craig Elementary and Southside Primary with LED lights at no charge;

• Approved the rate of pay for summer school personnel;

• Voted to enter executive session to discuss good name and character;

• Approved personnel actions; and

• Announced Anthony Sampson would be offered a contract as the system’s new Superintendent. He will replace Shelton, who is set to retire in the near future.

The next Dallas County Board of Education meeting will be held June 30 at 5:30 p.m. at a location to be determined.