School safety options discussed

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

An update on the possibility of having police officers in the schools was presented by Chilton County Schools Superintendent Tommy Glasscock during the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 20.

He said he had received several calls since the school shooting in Florida about school safety.

“I don’t’ know the answer,” Glasscock said. “I think as a board we are going to have to figure out what the answer is.”

Glasscock said he has discussed partnerships with Derrick Wright of Chilton County EMA, Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer, Thorsby Police Chief Rodney Barnett and Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver.

“I do believe we need to act on it immediately,” Glasscock said. “I think the municipalities are prepared to partner with us.”

He said he would meet with Fulmer later in the week to discuss possibilities of having officers that are off duty in the schools.

Safety improvements have been made at each school to have a “panic lock on every door,” Glasscock said.

The architecture of many of the schools requires students to walk between buildings to get to class. Safety drills are held at every school.

Board member Pam Price expressed concern that the board was giving funds to fieldhouses for athletics, but still did not have School Resource Officers.

“I think we have our priorities in the wrong place,” Price said.

Maintenance requests, which included emergency repairs as well as giving a portion of the cost to the schools for three multipurpose facilities, were also approved. Board members Keith Moore, Joe Mims and Jim Shannon voted in favor. Board members Linda Hand and Price voted against. Board member Curtis Smith was absent.

“It concerns me that we are spending money on extracurricular activities and not buildings for our students,” Price said.

She mentioned needed repairs at schools not on the list.

Schools are also holding fundraisers to raise money for the fieldhouse/ multipurpose facilities. Some also have received grants or other funding in the past.

Under school and shop requests, Pam said the job description was the same as the maintenance supervisor. She also expressed concerns that Glasscock had stated a person’s name for the position before the job had been posted. Glasscock said he had merely said the person was qualified for the job. He said to name someone to a positon before it was posted “would be a violation of the posting law, and to my knowledge in my three years here I don’t think I have violated the posting law.”

Glasscock said a committee would likely review the applicants and make a recommendation to the board.

All of the requests were voted on as one item. Board members Moore, Mims and Shannon voted in favor. Hand and Price voted against.