Background Report: Madison School Task Force Releases Safety Report

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Story aired May 19, 2010:

Three months after a deadly shooting at Discovery Middle School, Madison’s newly formed school task force released its final report, on ways to ensure safety in all Madison City Schools.

The 18 page report outlines 43 findings and 40 recommendations to the Madison City School System. Officials say the may appear to be big, but all of the schools in Madison are safe.

The report gives great detail of what 33 members of the community found when they looked at the structure of all schools in Madison.

“I think it was very impressive with the number if people that were involved, and the backgrounds that they came from,” said School Force Task Member Rodney Pennywell.

Overall, the task force says the schools are safe, but there is still room for improvement. The appointed group believes the schools can get better by starting with the basics and making upgrades to what they already have when it comes to security.

Some of recommendations include emphasizing prevention through faculty and staff training, integrating and expanding the school resource officer program, upgrading the school surveillance program, and implementing a web-based student communication system.

Superintendent Doctor Dee Fowler saw the report himself.

“They looked at all aspects of school safety, school security, and communications. They have come back with a great plan,” said Dr. Fowler.

The biggest recommendation was to establish a Supervisor of School Safety and Communications position. The person hired in that position would assist all administrators in maintaining a safe environment and enhance communication on all levels.

Dr. Fowler is ready to move forward.

“We just have to look at our budget and see what we can do, and also get the most out of the report. We will go on from there,” added Dr. Fowler.

The classmates of 14-year-old Todd Brown are honoring him with their yearbook.

The Discovery Middle School Yearbook features a dedication page to Brown. The page is titled, “Remembering Todd Terrell Brown”, and includes images of the memorial set up at the school. It also shares a poem written by Brown’s father.

Click here to read the safety report.

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