FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
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AG STRANGE PROVIDES BEST SAFETY PRACTICES TO SCHOOLS
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange has compiled a set of best
practices for safe schools, which he today shared with school officials throughout
Alabama. This list resulted from the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative, which the Attorney
General reinstituted last year with a special emphasis on the use of technology in school
safety. The information was sent electronically to all public school principals and
superintendents and to the Alabama Independent School Association.
Each school that submitted an application in 2013 was reviewed by a panel of
judges with representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, the Alabama State
Department of Education, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, the Alabama
Department of Public Safety, the Alabama Department of Insurance and the Alabama
Association of School Resource Officers. Through this initiative, one school from each of
the eight state school board districts was recognized for its efforts with an Attorney
General’s Safe School Award of Excellence.
Based upon the judges’ findings, the Attorney General’s Office devised a set of
suggestions called the 2013 Safe Schools Initiative Best Practices. Some of the suggested
practices require funding, while others are just a simple, common sense approach to
“Keeping our children safe in their schools is one of the most important things we
can do for Alabama’s families and for our state’s future,” said Attorney General Strange.
“From the very best school safety programs, we gathered the most valuable and effective
practices to share with all our schools. No matter what systems for safety a school may
use, our common goal is to take the guesswork out of providing a safe environment and
work with parents, teachers and local law enforcement to provide the safest schools
The Attorney General highlighted the following programs as Best Practices:
The Quick Access Program was created by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information
Center to help schools keep track of visitors and alert school administrators to potential
threats. Using the visitor’s driver’s license, the school has access to immediate information
about whether the person is a sex offender, if there are child custody restrictions, and other
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The Virtual Alabama School Safety System is an online system provided by the Alabama
Law Enforcement Agency, making school safety plans, emergency contacts, maps,
evacuation routes and other material easily accessible for first responders, school officials,
and others involved in implementing a safety plan. Approximately 1,200 K-12 public
schools, seven K-12 private schools, seven community colleges and three universities
currently participate in this program.
Panic buttons for all teachers and school staff let them instantly alert school officials and
local authorities when an emergency occurs. This program is a practice of the Orange
Beach Elementary School, winner of the 2013 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative for District 1.
The School Connect Application used by Leeds High School operates on tablets, smart
phones and personal computers to provide immediate communication between school
administrators, teachers, school staff, parents and students during emergency situations.
Leeds High School received the 2013 Alabama Safe Schools Initiative for District 7.
Safety plan flip books may be placed in every classroom, providing a detailed protocol
and points of contact for all foreseeable emergencies. This is a practice of Challenger
Middle School, the District 8 winner.
Safety bags of essential safety supplies may be provided to each classroom and teacher,
with items such as two-way radios, safety plan flip books, first aid kits and flashlights.
Redland Elementary School was recognized for this as winner in District 3.
For more information about these best practices and how they may be implemented, visit
Below is a list of the eight recipients of a 2013 Attorney General’s Safe School
Initiative Award of Excellence for each State School Board district:
District 1, Orange Beach Elementary, Orange Beach
District 2, Pleasant Home School, Andalusia
District 3, Redland Elementary School, Wetumpka
District 4, Homewood High School, Homewood
District 5, Blountsville Elementary School, Blount County
District 6, Eastwood Elementary School, Decatur
District 7, Leeds High School – Jefferson County
District 8, Challenger Middle School, Madison
“We commend all of these fine schools and others that are committed to provide a
safe learning environment for the children of Alabama,” said Attorney General Strange. “I
urge all school leaders and local law enforcement officials to review these practices and
implement the best safety plans possible.”