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HCS sending letter with FEB students about ‘active shooter’ drill

Published 3:41pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hartselle City Schools is sending a letter to parents at F.E. Burleson Elementary School this afternoon regarding a proposed mock “active shooter drill” that is being planned by the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency with school officials.

School Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said the letter has been posted on www.hartselletigers.org and will also be sent home with Burleson students today. He said he is hoping to clarify just what has been proposed.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LETTER

“The board has not made any final decision on any drill nor has the board set a time or school location for any drill,” Reed said in the letter. “Again, the purpose of this (planning) committee is to examine all possible scenarios in order to create the safest possible environment in our schools.”

A Monday’s school board meeting, Director of Student Services Jerry Reeves told the board that he is working with the EMA and Hartselle Police and Fire departments to create a mock emergency drill, possibly to be held at F.E. Burleson Elementary School.

EMA director Eddie Hicks said the “active shooter drill” would help everyone from school officials to law enforcement and emergency personnel help create a plan in case of an incident at a school.

Reed said in an interview Wednesday that having some type of mock disaster drill would be to increase the safety of all students in the school.

“It is our duty to look at all possible scenarios,” Reed said. “That’s what this committee is doing. They’re looking at all possible scenarios and then they will bring a proposal back to the board for approval.

“What we hope to do is to increase the safety of all students in the school system.”

Reed said the committee has not yet determined a time or location, although Reeves said Monday that FEB principal Sherry Calvert expressed interest in hosting a drill.

Board member Jennifer Sittason said on Monday that she would like to give parents the opportunity to allow students to check out before such an exercise.

“I think parents should have the option if they want their children to participate,” Sittason said.

Reed concurred.

“If we decide to have a drill at the end of the school day, we would allow parents the opportunity to check their students out before the drill begins,” Reed said.

“But we still don’t know if we’re even going to do it during a school day. We might design it for only to teachers to participate or it might even occur on Saturday when neither teachers nor students are on campus. All options are open at this time.”

Reed said he has personally only received a couple of calls or emails about the drill. However, several staff members at Burleson have received feedback on the issue.

“Most of the discussion has occurred on several social media websites,” Reed said. “I actually had one call from a family that lives outside the school system who said they would allow their child to volunteer to help during a drill.”

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