• By Mercedes C Parham
  • Thursday, February 22, 2018

MCSD Urges Additional Precautions Promoting Campus Safety

MCSD Logo

Muscogee County School District

2960 Macon Road Columbus, GA 31906

For Immediate Release
Mercedes Parham
Director of Communications and Open Records Officer
Office: (706) 748-2034
Fax: (706) 748-2036
www.muscogee.k12.ga.us

MEDIA RELEASE
Columbus, GA- The Muscogee County School District, in response to national concerns regarding school safety, is urging all District stakeholders to implement additional safety precautions on and off campus. The District will continue to reinforce specific policies and procedures to address potential and active threats across all campuses and sites.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by the senseless and heinous tragedy that occurred at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Superintendent David Lewis. “Parents and communities across the nation are understandably concerned for the safety of their children and school employees, as are we at the Muscogee County School District. For this reason the MCSD has taken a proactive and aggressive approach in preparation for a possible active shooter situation. Working in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, district officials provide training in active shooter incidents to include a family reunification exercise, as well as unannounced drills in schools throughout the year. In addition, the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) funding has enabled the district to install various monitoring devices and safety equipment in all schools throughout the district.”

District-wide safety measures are implemented in accordance with State law which requires a safety plan for each school. Each school designates an on-site safety team, led by a coordinator, which meets each month and conducts threat assessments in collaboration with law enforcement. Safety plans are comprehensive and include standard operating procedures regarding emergency responses, including acts of violence such as civil disturbances, armed intruders, mass casualties or hostage situations.

Due to the unfortunate trend of gun violence seen across campuses nationwide, resulting in mass casualties, the District is reinforcing its formal visitor check-in and check-out policies:

  • All visitors must check in at the front office of the school to gain entry.
  • Visitors must present state issued identification such as a Driver’s License, passport or military I.D. to receive a visitor pass from the school.
  • Each visitor must indicate his/her destination in the school and proceed to that area only.
  • Each visitor must display his/her school-issued pass at all times while on campus.

In addition to reinforcing the formal visitor process, the District is encouraging all parents, students, and personnel to be vigilant in upholding the District’s weapons policy and report threats made to schools, students, or personnel, in consideration of the following:

  • No student or employee should be in the possession of any form of a weapon or hazardous material, as defined by State law (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-121), while on campus.
  • Any employee who has reasonable cause to believe a student is in possession of a weapon is required to report the violation to school administration.
  • If a principal has reasonable cause to believe the aforementioned report is valid, he/she must immediately make an oral report to the Superintendent and law enforcement.
  • If students, parents, or employees bear witness to threats made toward any District campus, those should be immediately reported to administrators and law enforcement.
  • Threats of any kind made to the District, its personnel, or students will be taken seriously and result in a thorough investigation conducted by law enforcement.
  • Students who make threats, on or off campus, will face immediate disciplinary action and possible criminal charges.
Although we cannot guarantee the safety of any individual, it is our primary goal to provide a safe learning environment through proactive efforts. Safety measures are prioritized to enable the District to respond effectively to crisis situations, should they arise.

The mission of the Muscogee County School District is to inspire and equip all students to achieve unlimited potential. For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at 706.748.2034 or communications@muscogee.k12.ga.us.

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