AG honors Pleasant Home as one of state’s safest schools

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kayla White told Attorney General Troy King Tuesday that Pleasant Home School is one of the safest schools she knows – and he agreed.

The statement was further reaffirmed when King honored PHS as one of state’s 11 recipients of the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative 2008 Awards of Excellence program winners.

For the seventh straight year, Alabama K-12 public and private school officials submitted nominations for the Attorney General’s Safe Schools Initiative “Awards of Excellence.” Sponsored by the office of Attorney General Troy King, the awards recognize schools who demonstrate excellence in their school safety planning, training and collaboration efforts.

“I know that Pleasant Home School is one of the safest around, because Kayla White just told me so,” King said Tuesday as he presented the award. “This award just goes to prove it.”

Each year, schools statewide submit their respective school crisis plan. During the summer, an independent panel of experts representing law enforcement, school administrators, emergency response personnel and parents from across the state judges the submissions. In 2007, the school received a special accommodation from the AG’s office for their plan.

For the second year in a row, the process to nominate PHS was spearheaded by school resource officer Deputy Joe Schneider of the Covington County Sheriff’s Office.

PHS principal commended Schneider for his dedication to the project.

“This is a really big deal, a lot of work went into it,” Principal Craig Nichols said. “All that work on the safety plan was the responsibility of Deputy Joe Schneider.”

King said Pleasant Home as given the award because of the active role school officials, law enforcement and parents played in establishing the plan.

“Pleasant Home is one of 11 schools in the state that was given this award,” King said. “That means that Pleasant Home School is one of the safest in the United States of America.

“The people most responsible for the safety in this school is you – the students,” he said. “You are the ones who pay attention when there is a fire or tornado drill, who knows when there is a stranger in the hallway,” he said. “We notice in Montgomery what communities do to make their school safe.”

King reminded everyone present the reason why these safety plans are so important in today’s society.

“On April 20, 1999, in a little town called Littleton, there was a school named Columbine High School,” he said. “April 20, 1999, was the deadliest day ever on an American school campus. It was the day that changed our view on school safety forever.

“After that there was the Amish school shooting and Virginia Tech,” he said. “In Alabama, we don’t take school safety for granted.”

Superintendent Sharon Dye said she was extremely proud of the school’s accomplishment.

“It was wonderful that our students and staff and community go above and beyond what is required for our school’s safe learning environment,” Dye said.