In light of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, Houston County and Bibb County schools talked about safety measures in place to protect Central Georgia students.
13WMAZ talked to three school operation administrators from Houston County schools. Linda Horne, Assistant Superintendent for School Operations; Cindy Flesher, Executive Director of Elementary Operations; and Anthony Lunceford, Executive Director of Secondary Operations, talked about measures that included safety vestibules, security cameras, and emergency safety plans.
Horne explained that secured vestibules are a layout that allows people one way into the schools.
"We have secured vestibules and our schools where when anyone comes into the schools it routes them through the office," said Horne. "So that whenever someone enters our school they cannot just go down a hall, they have to go into the office to check-in."
Out of the 38 schools in Houston County, 19 don't have the secured vestibules yet, but because of SPLOST money, they are being installed. The schools started adding these vestibules early this summer.
Houston County School leaders say the average school has about 5 to 6 cameras, but more will be added, also using SPLOST money.
Administrators also say emergency safety plans are in place that are practiced twice a year and updated every year.
"Each schools specific safety plan so that everyone in the school has a responsibility from where dismissal takes place to who's going to be contacting the media, who's going to meet law enforcement even to the point where kids who have medical needs there is a staff member assigned to them, so in the event that there is an evacuation from the schools, then everybody has something that they need to do," said Lunceford.
13WMAZ contacted Bibb County Schools who sent us a statement.
Here it is in its entirety:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to their families, friends, and community.
Horrific incidents like this one reinforce the Bibb County School District's commitment to do everything in our power to protect the safety of our students. The District takes this responsibility very seriously.
Our recent Safety and Security Audit gathered experts together to offer advice and a plan on how to improve school safety. Since then we have been aggressively phasing in their recommendations.
Proposals implemented this year include safety walk-throughs and regular random searches in an attempt to eradicate weapons and drugs from our campus.
But first and foremost at this time, we call upon our employees, students and families to keep those in Connecticut in their hearts now and throughout this holiday season."