In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting that left 20 students and six teachers dead in December, local school systems have been reevaluating their emergency response plans and making sure they are up to par. Bremen City Schools is no exception.
“We took some time to talk with each principal and get an update on our safety initiatives,” said Bremen City Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hicks.
Hicks said principals have identified areas for improvement, both large and small.
“One of the biggest things is we are going to be more cognizant of locking the doors on all the campuses and only leaving the front entrance open for visitors,” Hicks said.
Admittedly, the logistics of keeping all the doors locked on all campuses is going to be a bit of a challenge – especially at Bremen High School, where students may have to leave one building to get to class or practice in another. However, according to Hicks, movement from building to building is supervised.
Hicks said the school system is implementing other measures as well to ensure student safety.
“We’re making sure all our teachers are aware of our safety plans,” Hicks said, “not just in the event of a shooting but also severe weather and other scenarios. We have extensive safety plans for all of our schools.”
The system is also currently conducting lockdown drills so the students will know what to do in the event of an emergency.
According to Hicks, the school system has also been working with the Bremen Police Department to increase police presence in schools and to review their safety plans.
“The Bremen PD has been a tremendous resource,” Hicks said, “and they will continue to be a tremendous resource for us.”
Hicks said ever since the Newtown tragedy, the board has also been talking with teachers, hearing their concerns, and the discussions will continue. Other things that are on the table at Bremen City Schools is updating the visitor check-in system and installing panic buttons.
“We can’t plan for every situation, but we will plan for as much as possible,” Hicks said.
In other news, the council approved a resolution to join in a Georgia Educational Cooperative Contract for Fiscal Year 2014. The agreement is a consortium of school systems and nutrition departments who join together during their bidding on food items so they can purchase them at a better rate for their schools.
“We simply pool our resources so we can get a better price,” Hicks said.
The council also approved fundraising requests for BHS and BMS during their meeting, as well as Use of Facilities requests.