As you can expect, the events in Parkland, Florida have troubled us deeply at the Athens City Schools. The safety of our students is our number one priority and it us up to all of us to be vigilant in this regard. As such, some of you have inquired about the safety procedures and protocols in our schools.
Please know that the Athens City School District is committed to the safety and well-being of all our students at all times. Every school has a detailed school safety plan that we practice and update regularly. We continue to review these plans annually in an effort to eliminate any oversights and to provide continuity throughout our schools.
We have an excellent relationship with our local Athens City Police Department and the Athens County Sheriff’s Department. We work together and on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of our schools. We have specific law enforcement contacts for each of our schools and they provide great insight in the development of our safety plans and our drills.
These proactive safety measures are complimented by our own internal security measures such as a mandatory comprehensive check-in and check-out system at the front desk and security cameras at each building location. As a reminder to all visitors and volunteers, visitor badges must be worn in plain sight at all times while on school grounds.
These are only some of our safety precautions and procedures. It is important to remember that ultimately it is up to all of us to be vigilant in keeping our schools safe.
Students, teachers, parents and the entire community have an obligation to bring forward information to an administrator at the school so that we can respond quickly and appropriately to protect everyone’s safety. Passing on rumors and not reporting information directly to the school greatly harms our ability to do so.
If you or anyone you know has something to report, please remember to use the state’s tip line, 844-SAFEROH (844-723-3764), which can be found on the home page of our website (www.athenscsd.org). They will immediately notify me and local law enforcement, who then contact the appropriate building administrator.
It is clear in these times that ensuring the safety of our schools is a responsibility that is up to all of us. Thank you for being a partner with our schools in assuring the safety of every student.
Thomas J. Gibbs, Ed.D.
Athens City School District