Decatur City Schools working hard to prevent school shooting

Decatur City Schools working hard to prevent school shooting
Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 at 10:43 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - You saw the haunting images of students filing out of the Florida school after the horrific shooting. It's part of safety training for schools.

"Warning. Information. Choices. Communication," said Dwight Satterfield, Supervisor of Operations and School Safety

WICC is likely an acronym you've never heard before. It breaks down like this.

  • What's your warning or alert that something is wrong
  • What information do you have about the incident
  • What choices do you have to protect yourself and/or escape
  • And how will communication take place during and after the emergency

"It's something we've been working on really the last year," said Satterfield.

Dwight Satterfield is in charge of operations and school safety for Decatur City Schools.

He and Decatur Police Lt. Proncey Robertson are part of the State Department of Education's School Safety Task Force.

Their also the brains behind WICC.

"We've got to make absolutely sure that we have safe schools. The key to this is education. These incidents are happening, they are real and can happen anywhere," said Lt. Proncey Robertson, Decatur Police Sgt.

A heavy burden for schools entrusted to care for students safety. That's why Robertson says WICC is so critical.

The idea came from a number of different policies already in place to protect students and teachers in an emergency. It adds an extra layer of security and protection.

"I'm talking about really drilling down where you go room by room to educate each teacher and each student about if your in this room this is what you do," said Robertson.

Parents, this is where you come in.

When it comes to school safety, students go through training but often moms and dads don't know what goes on past that point.

Often that leads to chaos when an emergency does happen.

"Do they know what to do? How to reunify with their children? That's part of the plan as well."

A plan to "build a culture of school safety" in a time when deadly shootings dominate the news. WICC-another tool schools and police can use to warn people and better prepare for when we face a crisis, not if. It comes down to communication between students and parents.

"We want them to give accurate information, I'm at school, this is going on, I'm in this room, I'm with this teacher. I'm safe right now," said Satterfield.

The other critical part of the WICC plan includes School Resource Officers. They are more than just police who walk the halls.

Satterfield says they build relationships with students and talk to them about what they hear and see.

That often means heading off a situation before it has a chance to turn into an emergency.

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