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Planning for school safety

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POSTED: November 7, 2007 5:00 a.m.

The Bryan County School System staff members recognize that in addition to the vital charge of educating our children, we are entrusted with keeping them safe during the school day.

The safety and security of our children are without question our top priorities. Preparation and early notification of potential danger are key to keeping children safe.

Whether it is a fire, tornado, hurricane, terrorism, or other type of incident, the more prepared our schools are for emergencies, the safer our children will be. In addition to preparing faculty and students through drills and exercises, we also incorporate the local and state public safety agencies in our plans.

Preparedness for everyone begins with a plan of action.

The Bryan County School System has a crisis plan in partnership with public safety agencies, including law enforcement, the fire department, the health department, and local emergency preparedness agencies.

This plan addresses a variety of crises and emergencies such as fires, severe weather, bomb threats, school shootings and accidents, as well as chemical and terrorist activities. Each school develops its own emergency plan which addresses the fundamentals of safety, including alerts and warnings, adequate staff and student education and training in preparedness and first aid, evacuation and sheltering in place procedures, and getting information to parents.

These plans address four major areas: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Every month, schools are required to train, practice, and drill according to their individual emergency plan. The practice drills are documented and recorded with the state and the local school board office.

The safety plans are reviewed and updated yearly by our individual schools, and every two years they are reviewed and approved by The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA).

The Bryan County School System is also one of 15 school systems that belong to the First District RESA Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Program Consortium.

The purpose of the SDFSCA is to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools; that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; that involve parents and communities in preventive strategies; and that are coordinated with related federal, state, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.

Rules set forth in the Bryan County Student Handbook and effective implementation of safety plans ensure a safe school environment.

By Student Services Director Billy McGrath

 

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