School security task force about to release findings

The Madison City School Board and City Council will soon hear the findings of a task force formed after a middle school shooting.

The recommendations from a preliminary report will be presented to city leaders at a joint work session Wednesday night.

Board members and the superintendent will decide how to act on them.

Meetings have been held twice a week since the task force's creation in February.

Professionals in and outside of the Madison community have been working to make your kid's schools safer.

"Whereas I think our schools are extremely safe, I do think that like anything else, we're foolish to think we can't do better," Robby Parker said.

The Bob Jones principal used his expertise overseeing day-to-day operations at a high school, to help the task force look for ways to make school safety and communications even better.

A prosecutor, retired general, and security expert were just some of the wide spectrum of professionals who jumped into dedicate their time and offer a different perspective to the task force.

Parker doesn't know exactly what the findings will entail, but believes the outcome will touch on good things going on and areas that need improvement in and outside of the building.

"I think the findings are going to be invaluable," Parker said.

He explained that the meetings weren't accusatory, but rather positive, professional, and practical.

"In dealing with 2,200 children, I think you've gotta look at things realistically," Parker said.

Madison residents are looking forward to hearing their recommendations.

"I was concerned about the safety for the kids at the schools after the Discovery shooting and with my sister going to Liberty, I think it'll be a good thing to keep the kids safe," Brandon Gilstrap said.

After the shooting, Madison father of three Ryan Chambers, gave his suggestions to key players, specifically in reference to bullying.

"I would just like to see it's a constant effort that it's not acceptable and that they're constantly making the kids feeling at ease and counseling them that's a real important thing to do," Chambers said.

While he didn't serve on this task force, Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler was the one who came up with idea two days after the shooting.

He commends the expertise this task force brings to Madison and says the school system likely couldn't have paid for the service.

This was all a volunteer effort.

Wednesday night's meeting is at the central office in Madison on Celtic Drive beginning at six o'clock.