Newtown Connecticut school shooting

Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

The Alabama Legislature has authorized city and county school systems to hire armed security guards to protect students.

The Senate voted 21-0 Monday to go along with changes the House made to a school security bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery. The bill now goes to the governor for review.

Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

An Alabama House committee has passed a bill that will allow school systems to hire trained resource officers to provide security in their schools and for the school system to pay for the cost of training and hiring the officers.

The director of Alabama's Department of Homeland Security, Spencer Collier, said it's a way of insuring that Alabama student are safe when at school.

"To get people trained as police officers is the best way to make sure schools are safe," Collier said.

The Alabama House has begun debate on a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle.

Hartselle Republican Ed Henry says the bill's purpose is to protect the rights of citizens to carry arms.

Some of the supporters expressed concern that President Obama is using recent shootings at schools and other public shootings as a reason to pass legislation reducing the rights of Americans to bear arms.

Superintendent Tim Pitchford

School officials in Houston County are considering eliminating armed guards from schools and cite associated costs as a reason why.

Superintendent Tim Pitchford Tuesday told the Dothan Eagle ( ) the school system has installed automatic locks to allow principals to quickly lock schools down, installed more security cameras and have set in place other security measures to make schools safer.

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.

(Information in the following story is from: The Dothan Eagle,

The superintendent of Houston County schools says district officials plan to review a new security policy that requires all students to wear identification badges.

The Dothan Eagle reports Superintendent Tim Pitchford says school officials will take a second look at the effectiveness of the badge requirement in April.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a ban on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than ten rounds. The bill names more than 150 weapons that would be banned.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he believes the ultimate solution to the school safety issue rests with law enforcement.

The governor Monday addressed the opening session of a two-day seminar on school safety at a Montgomery hotel. Bentley, legislators and education officials have been discussing how to keep schools safe since the December shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

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.

Alabama schools superintendent Tommy Bice says the state's schools have a comprehensive safety plan which he feels good about.

Bice's comments came during a Thursday work session of the Alabama Board of Education. The session was called to discuss safety in state schools in the wake of last month's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The superintendent has asked state public school systems to turn in their school safety plans to him by early next month.

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.

  Mass shootings seem to be on the rise lately. In light of the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary last month, everyone from the president on down to local school systems have been trying to find ways to curb gun violence and prevent such an incident from happening again.

Legislation has been prepared that would allow schools in a rural northwest Alabama county to train teachers and other school workers as reserve sheriff's deputies.

Democratic state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay said he is having advertised a local bill that would allow workers in Franklin County and Russellville city schools to receive training as reserve deputies.


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.