Alabama school safety

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In a late night session, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a school safety bill that will allow city and county school systems to hire armed school security officers.

The bill by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery was crafted in response to the Sandy Hook school shootings. The House approved it 97-3.

Republican leadership in the Alabama Legislature has offered proposals to make Alabama public schools safer.

The proposals made by Republican legislators at a State House news conference Tuesday includes giving schools permission and more money to hire trained resource officers to provide security. The proposals include one by Republican Rep. Allen Treadaway of Morris to issue up to $50 million in bonds for schools to buy necessary equipment and make renovations so public schools can secure all entrances.

A school superintendent visited the Alabama Statehouse to plead for passage of a re-filed bill that would allocate state funds for armed guards in his schools.

Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams Tuesday expressed fear that students who are familiar with guns will come to school armed for protection. He says school officials are anxious because the district's rural schools in northwest Alabama are about 30 minutes from sheriff's officials.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

The Alabama House has voted to uphold Gov. Robert Bentley's veto of a bill to allow teachers and other school personnel to train as reserve sheriff's deputies.

The bill was a school safety measure by Democratic Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay. After training, the teachers could carry firearms in school as protection against shooting incidents.

Morrow says law enforcement officials and educators in his northwest Alabama county had endorsed the measure.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has vetoed a Franklin County school safety bill that would have authorized some teachers to carry firearms.

The bill would allow teachers and other school personnel in Franklin County and Russellville city schools to train as reserve county sheriff's deputies and then carry firearms in school.

Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to address participants at a school safety summit.

The Virtual Alabama School Safety Summit will kick off Monday morning in Montgomery.

A number of topics will be covered, including new technologies that are now available.

Virtual Alabama is a high-tech information and system that helps first-responders during emergencies as public buildings, such as schools and colleges.

Other topics will include behavioral issues in schools and effective emergency operation plans.

Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

Armed police officers will continue to be a common sight at Cullman City Schools.

The Cullman Times reports that the city and the local school system have teamed up to station retired officers at every school for the remainder of the school year.

Police were added after the Connecticut school system in December but the temporary arrangement was stretching the police department's resources.

Tommy Bice

The Alabama Board of Education will hold a work session to discuss ways to keep Alabama schools safe.

The work session will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery.

Superintendent Tommy Bice has asked superintendents across the state to submit the safety plans for their schools in light of last month's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.


Participants in a Statehouse summit meeting have agreed that preventing and reacting to incidents like the Connecticut elementary school shooting will be the top priority for the Alabama Legislature in the regular session that begins Feb. 5.

That was the consensus among speakers Wednesday at a meeting of lawmakers, law enforcement officers and educators at the Alabama Statehouse.

The meeting was called by House and Senate leaders to discuss the issue following the shooting last month that killed 26 at a Connecticut elementary school.

Members of the House and Senate Education Policy committees will hold a joint hearing to discuss keeping students and teachers safe in the event of a school shooting and preventing such incidents.

The hearing will include House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Alabama Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier and state schools Superintendent Tommy Bice. The meeting will also include other law enforcement and education officials.

The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 617 at the Alabama Statehouse.