School Safety Message
February 26, 2018
Dear Students, Parents & Community Members:
We are once again shocked and dismayed that innocent lives were lost in another school shooting. Our prayers continue to be with the families affected by this senseless tragedy. As Superintendent, I assure you student safety is our number one priority every day. To this end, we had a safety consultant assess our schools to identify security vulnerabilities in 2013. As a result, locked entrances were added at our schools, requiring visitors to be approved before entering. Our high school entrance and cafeteria were redesigned to add an additional layer of protection for students. Cameras were added and procedures revised. Through the support of Athens-Limestone 911, administrators use the RAVE Panic button that immediately notifies first responders in an emergency, identifying the exact location of the incident in real time. We have an excellent, ongoing relationship with our local Athens City Police Department and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department. These first responders are trained and ready to assist in a moment’s notice and provide great insight in the development of our safety plans and drills.
In light of recent events, I have established a Safety Review Committee consisting of parents, school employees, first responders and mental health professionals. The purpose is to review our current safeguards and make recommendations for improvements. The committee will report to the Athens City School Board at its March 29 public board meeting.
As a system, we are being proactive in our attempts to avert tragedy from ever happening in our schools. As Superintendent, I am committed to providing the necessary resources and guidance to keep safety as a top priority. However, school leaders and teachers cannot meet these challenges alone. The entire Athens community has an obligation to bring forward information so that we can respond quickly and appropriately to protect everyone’s safety. It is important to remember that ultimately it is up to all of us to be vigilant in working to keep our schools safe.
Thank you for your continued support.
W. L. 'Trey' Holladay III, Ed.D., Superintendent