Muscle Shoals Schools Getting Proactive In Security

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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) - Since the tragic deaths of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, school system’s across the country are re-evaluating the safety plans they have in place.

A lone police car sits prominently outside the main entrance to Muscle Shoals High School; the purpose is to deter criminal activity before it ever starts.

In another effort to deter crime from happening, Muscle Shoals School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wooten says they recently hired a safety expert to evaluate the system’s safety plan.

“We felt good about our safety plan, we just wanted another set of eyes,” explained Dr. Wooten. “We wanted somebody that is trained and had experience in that arena, to come in and take a look at what we are currently doing.”

According to the safety expert, the school system has a good plan is place, but did make note of some physical changes that needed to take place.

Administrators say at one of the schools, there needed to be more fencing in breeze-ways used by students to get from building to building.

At the high school, more pressure lock doors should be in place that would only allow access to the school only after being buzzed in by school officials.

“We don’t want them to be like prisons either, but we want our kids, our students, to be as safe as possible,” said Wooten.

The Muscle Shoals School Board has allocated five-hundred thousand dollars to make safety upgrades at each of the seven school campuses in the system.

One other suggestion the safety expert made, having police officers on each school campus.

Superintendent Wooten said with all the recommendations made, the school board is in the process of evaluating each suggestion one by one.

School system administrators hope to have the safety upgrades in place by the start of the fall semester in August.

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