Atlanta (WAOK) The more than 100,000 students that are beginning a new school year today in metro Atlanta’s Dekalb County School District will notice some security upgrades. The added buzz-in cameras at every school and armed resource officers at the elementary schools, come on the heels of an incident last year in-which a man entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with a gun. Dekalb Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond said, “Again, I’d like to thank Ms. Antoinette Tuff, who stood in the gap and talked the gunman literally to the ground, and prevented any harm from coming to any students or staff.”
The improvements were made under the direction of Dr. Melvin Johnson and the Dekalb County Board of Education. Thurmond says, “This year we will be the only district in metro Atlanta where the elementary schools will be patrolled by an armed guard. We hired 8 new security officers and bought cars for them. All elementary schools will be protected by security who will patrol on a daily basis.” There is also an upgraded radio system.
Thurmond said the plan is to place high-tech cameras and electronic systems in all Dekalb County schools. He said they’ll all be installed, hopefully over the next twelve months . “In the meantime”, Thurmond said, “If you see something, say something.”
It is the first year that the district has seen enrollment surpass 100,000. Thurmond said, “I have been so impressed by the talent, the knowledge, and the abilities of our students across the district, and I just expect the very best and I know I’m not going to be disappointed.”
Dekalb begins the 2014-2015 school year with 700 new teachers, including 100 new teaching positions. Thurmond said, “We’re fully staffed and they bring a great deal of experience.” Thurmond added, “We’ve had our challenges in the past, but that’s the past and our best days are yet to come.”
Post by Maria Boynton