School Resource Officer Joe Schneider, pictured with Pleasant Home Principal Craig Nichols, smiles at the  school safety award he received from Attorney General Luther Strange Thursday.
School Resource Officer Joe Schneider, pictured with Pleasant Home Principal Craig Nichols, smiles at the school safety award he received from Attorney General Luther Strange Thursday.

Attorney general honors PHS

Published 12:00am Thursday, October 17, 2013

It is not always a good sign when police are called to a school, but when Alabama’s chief law enforcement officer showed up at Pleasant Home Wednesday, it was cause for celebration.

Attorney General Luther Strange made the trek to the rural school to present officials with the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Award, and Principal Craig Nichols called the selection an honor. PHS was one of eight schools in the state to earn the distinction.

“This award is not just about one person,” Nichols said following the presentation ceremony. “It is something you work on with the community, law enforcement, your school resource officer and the school board. A lot of people are involved.”

Nichols said this is the second time Pleasant Home has received the award, and pointed to Joe Schneider, long-time school resource officer and Covington County Sheriff’s deputy, as a big part of the school’s success.

“He’s been with us 14 years,” Nichols said. “When I see the relationships that he forms with students and the job he does, that is what being a resource officer is all about. All of that helps him to be vigilant on a day-to-day basis.”

Nichols also credited the county school board with helping implement safety precautions at Pleasant Home.

“Each year we review our safety plan,” he said. “We see what things work and what things need to be improved. We have our monthly drills and our lockdown procedures and we have things that have been put in throughout the county, like new doors with quick locks. We’ve done a lot of things system-wide that have helped us.”

During the award ceremony, Strange said Pleasant Home’s excellent safety plan is not only being recognized, but also will be shared with other schools throughout the state.

“Only eight schools receive this award,” Strange said. “The programs you use are fantastic. We’ve taken all of your good ideas and we’re going to put them together with the other winners and put out a booklet so other schools can benefit.”

Nichols said the plan to share safety tips is an excellent move that will help insure students’ safety statewide.

“That’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s not just an award, but it’s bringing together the best safety ideas and sharing them.”

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