TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Before kids head back to class in St. Clair County, everyone working for the school district took a lesson in safety.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, an author who travels across the United States to speak about school safety, addressed a packed church full of school employees, from teachers, to administrators, to custodians and bus drivers.
Grossman pointed out that schools frequently pay close attention to fire safety, but not to more imminent threats, like violence.
“We’ve got fire sprinklers, and fire exits, and fire alarms, and fire trucks and fire drills. Half the cost of building a school goes into fire code,” Grossman said. “They’ve got to devote some of that effort to keeping our kids safe from violence.”
Grossman said that effort begins with educating people on those threats.
Grossman encouraged schools to keep doors to the outside locked, as well as doors to classrooms.
He also suggested that schools place a laminate film over windows on classroom doors, to prevent intruders from breaking the glass.
Debra Allred, the principal of Moody Middle School, also coordinates safety efforts across St. Clair County. She said she’d seen Grossman speak in the past, and has already put some of his pointers to work at her school.
She hopes schools in the rest of the county will do the same.
“I think we’re always striving to be better, and to keep our children safer, so we just wanted to make sure everyone knew how important it is to keep our children safe,” Allred said.