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CCS receives Safe Schools Initiative Awards

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Several Chilton County Schools have been named winners in the 2019 Safe Schools Initiative Awards by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Safe Schools Coordinator Mickey Hardwick said every school in the system had been named to the list, except for Thorsby High School. However, he said there were plans in place for the school to have a stronger application next year.

Hardwick credited “the collaboration with the SROs (School Resource Officers) and first responders” as well as the major security-related upgrades that have been made at the schools in the last two years for so many schools being recognized this year.

Each school received a congratulatory letter and a certificate that could be framed and displayed at the school.

“When we start applying for Safe Schools money, it (the award) will help to show how good we are doing,” Hardwick said.

He commented that five years ago he was skeptical that the school system could get to this level with school safety, and he is very pleased that it has.

“The attorney general two years ago started implementing an award program to recognize schools for building a safe school culture,” Hardwick said.

Application for the award is made by the school system. Each application highlighted the school’s preparation and training, school resource officer, local emergency response agencies, technology used in school safety, any safety education programs offered to students at the school and any community partnerships related to school safety.

Hardwick said the school’s safety plan was also submitted.

According to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office, there were 124 submissions this year, and winners were selected by a panel of independent judges.

“The safety of our schoolchildren is a vital matter foremost in all of our minds and hearts, and this year we have enhanced the Safe Schools Initiative Awards to encourage and honor more of those who have implemented strong programs to protect our students, teachers and other staff,” Marshall. said “These schools have developed innovative programs and taken practical, effective steps to combat the threat of violence that has become a terrible part of our modern society. Their dedication and resolve to provide a safe haven for learning is an inspiration to us all.”

Chilton County Schools continued safety improvements recently by committing to purchasing to safety communication radios that will be tied in to the countywide 911 communications system that is being built.