Parent, teacher councils join forces to talk school safety - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Parent, teacher councils join forces to talk school safety


Madison County parents, health professionals and law enforcement are joining forces to ensure the safety of students after the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

On January 15th, the Madison City Council of PTAs and the Huntsville Council of PTAs are planning a school safety forum to ask input from, inform and reassure area families.

"When the news came across about Sandy Hook, every parent cringed," said Elisa Ferrell, president of Huntsville Council of PTAs.

Ferrell has four children in Huntsville schools, and she said parents and educators have a new determination to protect school kids.

"Right after Sandy Hook, we recommitted ourselves and started looking again to repurpose ourselves to make sure that our schools are completely safe," said Madison Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler.

The school safety forum will include police, a pediatric counselor and an analyst from the FBI to talk about school shootings, like what happened at Sandy Hook in December, and at Discovery Middle School in Madison in 2010. Families will be asked to provide input and ask questions.

Ferrell said they may find some new security measures parents may not know about now.

"The new Lee High School has locks that are tied into a security system so they can tell if a door is propped," she said. Parents might not know that some of our computer systems scan the face of the person that's signing in and checking that face against the sex offender database."

Farrell said, for their part, Madison schools have taken big steps since the Discovery shooting, and families around the Tennessee Valley look at school violence with more awareness.

"I guess what's changed the most is you realize it could happen, that it's not just somewhere else," Ferrell said. "It could happen in your community, and so you pay attention."

The school safety forum will be held on January 15th at Columbia High School from 6-8 p.m.

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