MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Monday released the report of recommendations from the Governor’s “Securing Alabama’s Facilities of Education” (SAFE) Council. The report focused on improvements in three areas: physical security, threat assessments and mental health, and coordinated training and planning.
“I am very pleased with the findings of the SAFE Council and I am already having discussions with agency heads about implementing some of these recommendations immediately,” Governor Ivey said. “Other recommendations need further consideration and will need some actions by the Alabama Legislature. I will continue to review the recommendations within this report, and other options not directly addressed by the report, to ensure all Alabama schools are as safe and secure as possible. I want to praise the members of the SAFE Council for their hard work and prompt attention to this matter. I am confident that once these recommendations are fully implemented they will greatly reduce the chance for tragedy in our schools.”
The recommendations in the report fall under one of three categories:
- Physical Security
- Funding for School Resource Officers (SROs) and District Safety Coordinators (DSCs)
- Bond Issue for Enhancing School Building Security
- Surveillance Systems Linked to Law Enforcement
- Threat Assessments and Mental Health
- School-Based Mental Health
- Identifying Warning Signs
- Reporting Threats
- Tracking School Violence
- Coordinated Training and Planning
- Empowered and Accountable District Safety Coordinators
- Building a Culture of Safety
- School Safety Training and Compliance Teams
“I commend Governor Ivey and others who worked so diligently to create a plan that looks at sound, practical methods of protecting this state’s greatest assets – its students. The only thing more important than making sure Alabama students receive a quality education that prepares them for the future, is making sure they are safe from hurt, harm, and danger when in our care,”
Interim State Superintendent of Education, Richardson said. “Parents entrust the safety and well-being of their children with caring education professionals every day. It is our responsibility to use whatever resources and collective ingenuity we have to uphold the promise that Alabama students attend school in a secure environment that is safe and conducive to learning.”
“I was grateful to serve as a member of the SAFE Council to offer recommendations that will increase preventive and interventional strategies in our schools,” said Lynn Beshear, Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner. “Mental health awareness and treatment are vital to the health of our students and their success. The Alabama Department of Mental Health looks forward to being a part of the team to train school personnel and to continuing our current work with the Alabama State Department of Education to further expand school-based mental health services.”
The SAFE Council report is one part of a four-step process aimed at objectively accessing security needs in Alabama schools and then implementing those recommendations which are proven to be effective. The second step, which is currently underway, includes a full review by Governor Ivey of the report, including in-depth discussions with the leaders of agencies effected by the recommendations. The third step, which is expected in the next few weeks, includes executive branch implementation of those recommendations which do not require legislative approval. The fourth, and final step, is the ongoing review, by the SAFE Council, of school security conditions and needs.
The priority for this report is the safety and security of K-12 facilities with consideration for post-secondary institutions. The SAFE Council will continue meeting as needed to work on implementing these recommendations and to fulfill other recommendations in their report.
Members of the SAFE Council include: Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Ed Richardson; Chancellor, Alabama Community College System Jimmy Baker; Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor; Commissioner, Alabama Department of Mental Health Lynn Beshear; and Acting Secretary of Information Technology Jim Purcell.
The SAFE Council report is available here.
Provided by the Office of the Governor of Alabama | governor.alabama.gov