HARTSELLE, AL (WAFF) - As school systems across the country look at ways to improve school security and safety, one Valley school system is considering a live school shooting drill during school hours.
The Hartselle City Schools Board of Education voted to proceed with planning for the event at F.E. Burleson Elementary School. The Morgan County Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with law enforcement and first responders. The BOE has not approved the actual drill yet. If it does happen, the original plan is to do it in late February.
Hartselle's Police and Fire Departments would be involved in the drill that would simulate a situation where an armed intruder has entered the campus. Fake guns would be used.
Hartselle Superintendent Dr. William Reed said the drill would help school officials and law enforcement improve emergency plans.
"It is a learning situation for everyone. We know we're not going to do perfect, but what can we learn from it to do better so that if, God forbid, anything like this ever happens, we are prepared to do the best we can. Not only are we prepared and our students prepared, but the responders are prepared," he said.
Reed added that the drill would be done during the last three hours of school, and that students did not have to be there.
"If a parent does not want his child to participate, he can withdraw him at lunch. Therefore his children would not even be on campus during the drill, if such a drill occurs," Reed said.
Depending on the recommendations made by the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, the BOE could vote on whether to hold the drill during their next meeting on February 11th.