Superintendent speaks about school safety

A month and a half removed from the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., safety is still a concern for schools across the country, including those in Chilton County.

Schools superintendent Dave Hayden spoke to the Rotary Club of Chilton County on Jan. 23 about what local officials are doing to ensure the safety of local students.

Unfortunately, solutions to such a broad problem come with price tags, and the school system is strapped for cash.

Hayden told club members at Clara’s Country Cafe that he held work sessions with local police officials after the Connecticut shooting.

The addition of more resource officers–there is currently one through the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office who visits a different school each day–could help, Hayden said, but having an officer at each school might not be possible.

An immediate step schools have taken is enforcing policies already on the books, such as requiring visitors to sign in and wear visible identification.

Hayden also said it is important to understand the motives behind such acts of violence.

“These young men, something they all have in common is that they’re all disgruntled with the school for some reason,” Hayden said about school shooters.

The Chilton County school system serves more than 7,000 students and has more than 820 employees.

The Rotary club meets each Wednesday at noon. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to visit.

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