News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


School safety awards a plus for BRAC families

A recent citation Decatur City Schools received should seize the attention of all families moving to the Tennessee Valley as part of Base Re-Alignment and Closure.

Decatur pays close attention to school safety. Last week, Decatur and Austin high schools and Oak Park Middle School were listed among eight schools statewide that received the coveted Safe Schools Award of Excellence.

Not only did Decatur grab three of the eight honors, the local system is the only one to have a school honored in each of the five years the award has been given.

The honors are not smoke and mirrors or the results of a publicity campaign. They come from the school administration's concerted effort to make schools safe.

Before school started in August, the system bought 285 security cameras for the two high schools and three middle schools. Administrators hold regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency officials. They practice safety.

Schools carry out routine in-school procedures to protect students and to be ready for emergencies.

Overall, nearly 10,000 jobs are expected to move to the Tennessee Valley as a result of the Army Materiel Command move to Huntsville.

Many families now living in Virginia are deciding if they want to move to Alabama or stay put and find work there once their jobs move.

The quality of schools is one major factor for families deciding to relocate. Unfortunately, school safety is also a major concern. Decatur can't guarantee an incident such as the Nickel Mines tragedy in Pennsylvania won't happen here, but the school system is doing more than most schools to make students secure.

Quality schools in a secure setting are bound to be awfully appealing to parents of school-age children. They can find both in Decatur.

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