Back to School with WBRC Town Hall
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Making sure there is a School Resource Officer dedicated to each school was a big concern among area superintendents during our Back To School with WBRC Town Hall.
Gadsden’s Superintendent Tony Reddick reminded us about the SRO who intercepted a would-be intruder trying to get inside Walnut Park Elementary while a summer literacy program was underway. The officer ended up shooting and killing the man.
Reddick says, “I believe because of the incident more of our community leaders are more conscientious about it and therefore we feel more comfortable going to our city government, our city council in particular, and asking for more school resource officers.”
Dr. Water Gonsoulin praised the leaders and law enforcement of all the municipalities in Jefferson County saying the SROs were in active shooter training.
Gonsoulin went on to say, “and this week we have our SROs at Hueytown High and they have been participating in active shooter training for the last two days.”
Dr. Patti Neil, the head of Trussville City Schools, says they have seven SROs to serve five schools and calls it one of the district’s greatest blessings.
Neil says, “They are all trained through TAASRO and they are terrific.”
The superintendents also thanked state lawmakers for the pay raise for Alabama teachers. Bessemer City Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Autumm Jeter and Tuscaloosa City Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria both say that raise helped them retain veteran teachers. Still, Jasper Superintendent Dr. Ann Jackson says it does very little to attract new teachers which she says is vital for sustaining the profession in the future.
Dr. Michelle Eller with Sylacauga City Schools says efforts to attract teachers through changes to certification may help in the short term, but is not a long term fix. She talked about growing educators, hiring interns and guiding them through the certification process.
That’s just a few of the topics we covered including how parents and local businesses can help schools thrive, as well as, how to find out about programs districts offer.
Here are the videos from the town hall:
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