Just the Facts: Safety for Your Child

Just the Facts School Safety

Welcome back, and thanks for spending a couple of minutes together again! This week, we are talking about the most important thing on your mind every day - the safety of your children and grandchildren!

Your child’s teacher, principal, and our police officers deeply understand that when you send your children to school each morning, you are trusting us with the most important part of your life. Our team talks about your child’s safety and trains to keep your child safe every day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for the feeling that “lots of caring adults are keeping our children safe.” Yes, I know that some of those safety decisions are inconvenient, like when I visit my grandchildren and I’m asked to sign in at the front office and aren’t allowed to go anywhere on campus until I do! I am secretly impressed that I’m required to sign in every time I visit a school. It gives me that feeling of confidence, even if it takes a couple of extra minutes.

Safety is more than a feeling. Without getting into too many details (so the bad guys don’t know), our safety team consists of multiple law enforcement agencies, police officers, and full-time District staff. This team of experts has built an intentionally invisible but very real network of protections for your children, more on those in a minute or two.

Back to that word “feeling” for a moment. I don’t know of anything that makes us “feel” more concerned than thinking about the safety of our children and grandchildren. As I speak with you in the community, I love to see and hear the happiness, hope, joy, and pride your children and grandchildren bring. I have also seen and heard fear when other children or adults from the community threaten their safety. Yes, in 2024, many of us feel a certain level of fear for our children. We should.

Issues from across our country, state, and communities walk themselves through the front doors of our schools every day.

I could not be more proud of the educators who teach and support your children in our classrooms. While many neighboring counties are being distracted by social problems, including safety. Trust me, we know safety is a very real community issue that needs community solutions from city hall, churches, synagogues, neighbors, friends, and families.

Our schools are not where safety issues begin but where your child is most safe. With the proper investment of time, money, and training for educators, schools are where safety is found.

As a member of your Board of Education, the majority of the Board has made enormous safety investments in all our schools. I am proud that we have made those investments for the last ten years - even when it hasn’t been easy, cheap, or popular.

Over the last five years, some have argued for “defunding the police,” moving funds from safety to other areas of interest, firing high-achieving principals, criticized safety drills, and lobbied against a crisis response system in every school.

Instead, the majority of the Board and Superintendent have doubled and tripled down on keeping your children and grandchildren safe.

Cobb Shield, our network of safety supports in every single Cobb school, includes:

  • The Cobb School District Police Department protects your children every day with more than 80 well-trained, veteran officers.
  • The Centegix Crisis Response system is a state-of-the-art badge system that allows any staff member, anywhere at a school, to initiate a Code Red alarm at the first notice of a crisis event. The alert notifies all students and staff simultaneously while immediately notifying the police of a possible incident.
  • In concert with Centegix, our code red drills allow us to train our students and staff on responding when a code red alarm is given. All students and staff are notified of the drill in advance but then required to train for what they would do in an actual crisis.
  • The Vector Alert is our district’s tip-reporting service. If you have information about a threat to our safety, do your part and report it! And remember, you can remain anonymous.
  • Cobb Schools has a dedicated team of professionals on staff whose only task is to constantly evaluate and strengthen the security of our schools.
  • Our security check process provides consistent random evaluations to make sure our schools are following their individual safety plans.

These are just a few of the layers of protection your child’s school makes use of each and every day.

Every school also has an emergency management team, targeted programs for at-risk students, health and safety training programs, and anti-gang initiatives. When you have a moment, I also encourage you to visit www.cobbshield.com to see more details.

Because of these and other safety investments this Board and Superintendent have made, the “feeling” our students and parents have can be one of security, not fear.

Thanks again for spending some time together. Until next time, I look forward to seeing you in schools or the community. Please do say hello if we see each other.

Board Chair Randy Scamihorn