State schools

Superintendent of Public Schools talks safety in the wake of mass shootings

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Following a series of mass shootings across the country, including the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas, preventing violent attacks in Alabama is on the minds of many.

Safeguarding children in the classroom is a top concern of State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey. He explained that security protocols to prevent school shootings have been in place for more than a decade, and have even been improved in recent years.

“We were able to prevent any tragedy like this in our schools,” Mackey said. “We will continue to work on this. We see some very good projects coming together, even now, even last year.

In Montgomery County, the education official said several schools have recently added more “airlocks,” meaning that to enter the building, an intruder must walk through two sets of locked doors.

Some state schools were built decades ago and need to be brought up to today’s standards.

“A lot of our buildings were built in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, so it was a different era,” he said. “We have to go back and renovate old buildings.”

He stressed that the state will continue to work with local school districts to ensure that teachers, principals and custodians undergo safety training.

The state superintendent also wants to appeal to parents. They should keep a watchful eye and report any suspicious activity.

“If the parents hear of someone who might be violent, someone making threats on Facebook or another social network, you need to tell the police,” Mackey said. “If we don’t know there is a potential threat, there is nothing we can do about it.”

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