Birmingham school district to roll out new protocol on school safety

Birmingham school district to roll out new protocol on school safety
(Source: WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - "Our district is in a season of change," said Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring as she addressed a crowd of parents and neighbors.

Herring said the changes include academics and school safety. She said parents could start noticing the difference as early as next week.

"After the break, there will be a new protocol on how we heighten security," continued Herring.

This announcement comes after the tragic shooting death at Huffman High School earlier this month and the numerous school lockdowns throughout the district, including one at Ramsay High School just last week.

Dr. Herring said this is the new reality for our children and they want to make sure every student is safe. "It is no longer the tornado drill in the hallway where we just sit down and cross our legs. That is not the drill. It's the shooter drill. It is a drill that says 'what do we do in the event of an active shooter?' That's a reality our children stand in."

The district is putting up the money to do everything they can to ensure safety. It was discussed inside a Birmingham Board of Education Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday. Of the $3.6 million the district receives from the city, they've already spent $150,000 on school safety.

14 metal detectors have been purchased and there are plans for six more. They've also purchased alarms on school doors so that if someone opens a door they're not supposed to, it will alert officials. There are plans to also purchase more hand wands.

School board member and finance chairman Dr. Douglas Ragland said they're working to make sure another tragedy doesn't happen again.

"We are beefing up on security, collaborating with Birmingham police department, as well as our security system here," said Ragland. "We are making sure we have metal detectors and that they are enforced daily. So, we are making sure we are taking the proper steps to make sure our kids are safe," he continued.

Ragland says safety remains a top priority. "It is important for everyone to feel safe in order for us to get the optimum performance out of our teachers and our students."

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.