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2 Decatur schools earn safety awards

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

The state attorney general is recognizing schools for their safety plans for the sixth year, and once again, Decatur is represented.

Attorney General Troy King will be in Decatur on Sept. 4 to recognize Decatur High School and Oak Park Middle School with the 2007 Awards of Excellence as part of his office’s annual Safe Schools Initiative.

“It’s never routine,” Superintendent Sam Houston said of the honor. “We work hard to keep our schools safe, and our applications are reflective of what our teachers, crisis response team, student resource officers and government do for our schools.”

An independent panel of law-enforcement and emergency-response officers, teachers, school administrators and parents selected winners from nominations made this past summer.

The panel judges applicants on prevention activities and programs, student resource officers, crisis response teams, gates and security cameras, drug testing, and school safety plans.

The state usually recognizes between six and eight public and private schools each year. Decatur City Schools is the only system to have a school win the award in each of the six years of the award’s existence and the only system to have multiple schools earn the honor in the same year.

Decatur High won the honor for the fourth straight year, and this is the second straight year for Oak Park. Austin High has won the honor four times in previous years.

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