Enterprise City Schools prioritize safety ahead of school year
ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) - As students head back to the classroom, safety is on the minds of many.
This week, Coffee County EMA and the Enterprise Police Department is making it a priority by providing active shooter training to faculty and staff at Enterprise City Schools.
With a new school year right around the corner, these faculty and staff are in the classroom to do some learning of their own.
“We just want to make sure everybody is aware, and we can do everything we possibly can as Enterprise City Schools to keep our kids safe,” said Dr. Zel Thomas, Superintendent Enterprise City Schools.
Dr. Thomas is working to improve student safety by making this active shooter training a requirement.
“Our active shooter training is to ensure all of our buildings are secure and safe as possible,” Dr. Thomas said. “In light of all of the shootings, mass shootings that we have.”
This custom training is through a partnership with the Enterprise Police Department and the Coffee County EMA.
“We want to be able to discuss these types of situations before they happen,” said Grant Lyons, Deputy Director Coffee County EMA. “It’s an unfortunate reality that this is even happening in our country but here we are.”
“So, we want to be able to talk about it, engage teachers, engage administration, engage law enforcement and first responders, to all have a discussion about this and how we would work together to address that type of situation.”
During the training, instructors worked with school staff through a tabletop exercise, allowing them to think ahead and prepare for the “What if.”
“We’ll introduce a scenario to the teachers and then work with them on what they may or may not be doing throughout the course of that exercise,” Lyons said.
This collaboration also allows officials to get a closer look at each school.
“They also get to see eyes on our facilities so they can kind of know all of the ins and outs and nuances of our building, but also to point out anything, any deficient areas that we might need to improve upon, any holes in our safety plan,” Dr. Thomas said.
Dr. Thomas said this training has been done in the past, but with changes in leaderships in buildings, this reassures everyone is on the same page.
The Coffee County EMA and Enterprise Police Department are visiting all 10 Enterprise City Schools.
“This does give us an opportunity to go through the policies of the school as well as let the teachers provide us feedback as to what they may be doing in that type of situation,” Lyons said.
In prior years, this was done at Coffee County Schools and Elba City Schools.
“Over the course of about a year, we would have done all the schools in the entire county,” Lyons said.
The training continues Thursday and Friday.
Enterprise City Schools students start back on Monday.
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