Coweta schools issue update on emergency preparedness

The Coweta County Board of Education’s safety committee was given an update last week from Superintendent Steve Barker concerning school safety and security measures. Coweta schools in January will see an increase in patrols and a decrease in points of entry at schools countywide.

Barker told committee members that all schools and the school system as a whole have extensive safety procedures and emergency response plans in place, and that personnel are trained regularly on the procedures and on a wide variety of emergency response plans.

“We have received calls from parents this week, in light of what happened (with the school shooting on Connecticut), and we’ve been able to hear several suggestions and hold discussions with parents,” Barker said in reference to school safety-related issues. 

Barker said that increased patrols of school campuses will occur in the second semester. Additional training for staff will also be held and will include strategies for awareness, emphasis on identification badges and campus visitor scrutiny. The training will also include specific instructions from law enforcement on response during the immediate aftermath of an actual crisis. Additional meetings will be held during January at the system and school level for this training, Barker said.

Schools campus points of entry have also been reduced and additional security measures for points of entry are being examined, Barker added.

While some aspects of the system’s security plan are not released to the public out of concern for enhanced security at schools, Barker did note that: school safety plans were designed using guidance from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and law enforcement; drills, scenarios and tabletop discussions are utilized as preparation for possible incidents; and that lockdown procedures, emergency evacuation procedures and crisis response guidelines are in place for a variety of contingencies.

Barker also noted that suggestions from parents and community members are welcomed. Barker said members of the public are requested to help by immediately reporting to school and system leadership any unusual or out of the ordinary conditions that are observed in or around school campuses.