Anniston City Schools superintendent working to make school safer

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 11:55 PM CDT
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ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The Anniston City Schools superintendent is sharing new insight about the precautions they’re using to try and keep guns out of their schools.

This is just two weeks after a student was injured when police say a gun accidentally went off inside.

“It was a shocking moment just trying to ascertain what was happening,” said Superintendent Dr. D. Ray Hill.

Three students were involved in the incident, according to Dr. Hill. He says they are now “going through the disciplinary process.”

Dr. Hill says while they have precautions set in place, a lack of funding and staffing prevents them from using the precautions to the fullest extent.

“We have one walk-through metal detector,” he explains. “Now, the problem is -- requirements are that if you have a walk-through metal detector, you have to have someone man that particular thing all day, the device. Of course, we don’t have that right now because of lack of staff and funding to get the staff.”

He says an administrator monitors it while all students are entering the building in the morning, but then they have to continue with their regular job.

“You have 80 something doors in that building that we have to be accountable for, but you only have two administrators, then you have the career tech administrator who’s in the other building,” said Dr. Hill.

They also have a policy requiring backpacks to be either clear or mesh and if caught with a regular bag at the front door, Dr. Hill says the principal confiscates it. Depending on the situation, the student may get it back at the end of the day or not.

Dr. Hill says he met with teachers and staff after the shooting incident to figure out how they can make school safer.

“Several of the teachers did ask, you know - ‘Dr. Hill, if we could have someone just in the hallways to monitor the doors, that would make a huge difference,’” he explained. “I have to agree, but we’re only funded so much and everything else is left on the city school system’s budget.”

Dr. Hill says they are continuing the conversation now, searching for additional funding or grants to add more staffing so they can keep everyone safe.

In the meantime, he is asking parents to talk with your children encouraging them to say something if they see or hear something.

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