Pleasant Home lauded for safety

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pleasant Home School is one of eight chosen statewide in the attorney general’s “Safe School Initiative” – a credit that goes to the school resource officer, Deputy Joe Schneider, school officials said.

The announcement came Monday that Attorney General Luther Strange had reinstituted the program with a new emphasis on encouraging technological advances to deal with the challenges experienced by today’s schools and students.

Nominations were received between April and June, and in August, a panel of judges reviewed the nominations to determine a winner from each of the eight state school board districts.

“Ensuring safe schools for our students has never been more important,” Strange said. “Special emphasis is being placed on the use of technology to ensure that our schools are safe. Every school who submitted a nomination will receive feedback from our panel of judges on how to enhance their school safety plan.”

PHS and seven other schools were awarded the award of excellence merits. Principal Craig Nichols said Schneider works “tirelessly” on the school’s safety plan and took great pride in submitting it to the AG’s office.

“We’ve all worked really hard down at Pleasant Home to make it safe for our students by developing a plan with their best interests in mind,” Nichols said. “(Schneider) is committed to school safety, and a lot of credit for this award goes to him.”

Nichols said Schneider continually revises the school’s plan and recently added video of classroom layouts through the Virtual Alabama Safe Schools project.

“All of our schools participate in that program that gives law enforcement the ability to get video of our classrooms if needed,” Nichols said. “(Schneider) worked very hard to put all that together and to submit our entire plan to the AG’s office.”

The AG’s office, in coordination with the state departments of education and public Safety, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, the state fire marshal’s office, and the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers will be releasing the “Alabama Safe School Initiative: Best Practices” list.

“I took great pride in personally acting as a judge for the Safe School Awards, and I saw a lot of good things happening in Alabama’s schools. I believe that this is the perfect opportunity to share information on the newest and best practices being used in school safety,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Thomas R. Bice.

Strange expressed special thanks to the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance for their continued support of the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative. Strange will present the awards this fall to the eight winning schools that also include:

• District 1, Orange Beach Elementary, Orange Beach;

• District 3, Redland Elementary School, Wetumpka;

• District 4, Homewood High School, Homewood;

• District 5, Blountsville Elementary School, Blount County;

• District 6, Eastwood Elementary School, Decatur;

• District 7, Leeds High School, Jefferson County; and,

• District 8, Challenger Middle School, Madison.