Shipman: safety top priority
By Michael Butler
In the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida, schools across the country are taking measures to prevent such tragedies. Tallassee is no exception.
"Anytime you have a tragedy like this, you look for answers and ways to keep it from happening in your community," Shipman said. "Do we want our schools to look like a prison? It's about balance. The most important thing that we do is not teaching kids, it's providing safety for our kids. You can look af Florida and I guarantee that not worried about test scores right now.
"They're grieving. They're at a loss. It's about school safety. People expect their kids to come to school and be able to get home safely. It can involve bullying. That can involve a lot of things. It can involve a lot of things."
Measures have been taken in the Tallassee system to combat instances.
"I like what they've done with the limited access locks on the doors at the elementary school. It starts with personnel making sure people are where they are with their duty stations, supervising kids so they are where they are supposed to be. We're looking at additional things that we can add. We did add cameras."
Shipman recently attended a superintendents meeting to evaluate what other systems are doing.
"In Limestone County, they have lockboxes in some of their classrooms attached to an alarm system. That lockbox gives them a few things that they can use immediately in the case of a true crisis. The box is operated by a thumbprint. Only the teacher can activate it when they see a gun. It automatically sends a message to the principal and the police department. Maybe that's something that could be used."
Shipman has already talked with Elmore County EMA director Eric Jones about having an active shooter drill.
"That will likely happen," Shipman noted. "A couple of years ago we had a bus accident drill. It was very beneficial. I see us doing some of those drills to make sure that we're prepared."