By ALEXIS CODY
With the recent rash of school violence in the U.S., Fulton County School officials have been discussing increasing school security measures throughout the county.
These security measures include installing a front door access control system and moving forward with an automated visitor identification system. There are plans for a new DVR camera surveillance system to be installed on all the district’s 949 school buses, and each bus driver will participate in a three and a half hour first aid training course.
The SchoolMessenger mass notification system that uses voice calls, emails and text messages to keep parents and staff members informed during an emergency will be increased. Parents can text ‘YES’ to 88544 to opt-in for emergency text alerts.
“I believe the changes are great,” said Rachel Vassel, an Alpharetta High School parent. “I have two children here at Alpharetta High and knowing Fulton County is putting into place more protection for our children is awesome. I also feel many criminals will be discouraged from committing crimes now due to the fear of getting caught. Considering the escalated crimes on school campus[es] nationwide, these changes are way overdue.”
“I encourage change considering crime has gotten out of hand with security at many of the local schools,” said Robert Bettis, another Alpharetta High School parent. “So many students go to school in fear of not knowing what’s going to happen from day to day. Maybe now they can be more at ease. I have three children that are in the Fulton County schools; therefore, I’m very pleased with these new changes.”
Currently, the district’s school police department has more than 60 officers. All the officers are certified by the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council and are armed in every elementary, middle and high school.
All schools within Fulton County are required by board policy and state law to maintain a yearly updated safety plan. They also conduct relevant drills throughout the school year. The safety plan also includes locking all exterior doors and requiring visitors to sign in upon arrival and exit.
Installation of the front door control system and the automated visitor identification system will begin within the year.
To find out more about these new security changes visit