Floyd County Board of Education agrees to supplement school safety officers

Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2023–4:24 a.m.

-Adam Carey, Rome News-Tribune-

This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.

The Floyd County Board of Education met Monday for a special called board meeting before their regular meeting to discuss school safety and agreed to hire off-duty Floyd County Police to supplement their complement of School Resource Officers as needed.

The current SROs are not being supplemented for any specific threat, but rather to provide more seamless coverage between school properties as needed. 

During the called meeting, the board was briefed by Floyd County Schools Chief Safety and Security Officer Rick Flanigen on the state of school security.

Flanigen spoke fairly confidently about Floyd County Schools’ security preparedness. 

Worst thing I can think of is that somebody would get into our schools,” Flanigen said. “Which is why I’m so happy how we’ve really worked at securing them.”

He added that the school system constantly trains to increase safety, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to relax.

“Safety vestibules are working great,” he said. “And we’ve noticed that staff members are vigilant when it comes to watching doors as kids move between buildings. If a door is open, a teacher is watching it. But we’re continuing to work. We’re not resting on our laurels.”

Local school systems utilize school resource officers, which are typically Floyd County Police Officers who are assigned to schools in the school system.

As part of the called meeting that took place before the regularly scheduled meeting, the board went into executive session, closing the discussion to the public.

Public boards and commissions are allowed to close discussions to the public only for specific reasons — to discuss personnel, legal actions and real estate transactions as well as school security.

The general public is not allowed in closed session, but all votes related to the session must be in public.

The unfortunate trend is a continued year after year increase in the numbers of shootings that take place at schools.

According to The Washington Post, there were 46 shootings at K-12 schools in 2022, surpassing 2021’s record of 42 school shootings. 34 students and adults were killed in these shootings, according to the analysis by the Post’s John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich.

In all, 43,450 children experienced school shootings during 2022 in one form or another.

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