Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Overton School Board Looks To Increase Safety

The Overton County School Board explored options to increase school safety during a Tuesday night work session.

The work session included a review of procedures, training, and committee meetings as well as school resource officer contracts, duties, and training procedures.  Director of Schools Donnie Holman said he spoke with a consultant regarding the issue earlier Tuesday afternoon.

“I feel like we’re really on the same page, we’re willing to do whatever we can to make our schools safer,” Holman said. “He and I just want to work together to make sure that we’re not overlooking anything, and that we’re not letting anything slip.”

Holman said amid recent unfortunate events such as the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, they want to ensure everyone understands the correct procedures, policies, and protocols for the safety of the schools. He said he has also discussed the issue with another consultant.

“I’ve talked numerous times also with Jennie Smith, I’ve become aware of one program and she was aware of another one,” Holman said. “We are going to look into these two programs as possibilities of something that we might implement to help ensure safety in our schools.”

Holman also discussed the possibility of implementing a timer system to insure the safety of teachers, students, and others within each school.

“Someone would be going around and checking the perimeter of the building to make sure that all the doors are locked, and having a list of things that need to be checked periodically,” Holman said. “If they are not checked, then we are notified that the check wasn’t done and that something is wrong and that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

Dr. Holman also noted there was a principal’s meeting Tuesday afternoon where they discussed school safety for the majority of their time together.

“We all came together in consensus today that we know that that is something that we as school employees are bad to do,” Holman said. “We are going to give it our 100 percent effort to make sure that there is never a door propped open, regardless of any reason for doing so.”

Holman said that topic was just one of the many topics they discussed to try to ensure the safety of their students. He said they don’t want there to be something obvious that they mistakenly overlook.

“We don’t want to assume that everybody knows the things that we are expecting to be done, you can’t really assume that,” Holman said. “We must make sure that that’s communicated crystal clear to everyone so that we’re all on the same page.”

Holman said the board is doing everything they can to keep children safe within each school.

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