Local Officials Discuss School Safety

By Betsy Finklea
Several school officials along with local legislators gathered recently to discuss school safety and a facility assessment for school safety.
Dillon County Board of Education Chairman Richard Schafer said he and Rep. Jackie Hayes had a number of conversations about school safety. The meeting was a result of those conversations.
Hayes said he and Rep. Lucas Atkinson have heard there may be some federal money that is going to be available to address some of these issues. He said everyone is very serious about school safety and about students feeling safe.
Tom Hughes of sfL+a Architects said he had walked every school district during past projects. He put together a checklist of the things they should look at during the facility assessment including access and control and crisis management. Dr. John Kirby, Superintendent of the Latta School District, said facilities are one small component of school safety and there are other things that must also be addressed.
The group wants to make good, rational decisions about school safety.
The importance of student participation in school safety, particularly reporting information, as well as addressing the mental health aspect was discussed.
At the Dillon County Board of Education meeting, the board voted to move forward with the school safety facility assessment.