FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020
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Attorney General Steve Marshall Presents Austin High School with 2019 Safe School Award
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall today presented Austin High School in Decatur with the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award for State Board of Education District 6. The school is a six-time recipient, having previously been honored with this award for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2017.
Schools were selected as winners of the Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award from each of the eight state school board districts as well as one private school statewide. In addition, three schools were selected for the Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award of Excellence and 61 schools were selected for the Attorney General’s 2019 Certificate of Building a Culture for School Safety.
“The safety of our schoolchildren is a vital matter foremost in all of our minds and hearts, and this year we have enhanced the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Awards to encourage and honor more of those who have implemented strong programs to protect our students, teachers and other staff,” said Attorney General Marshall. “These schools have developed innovative programs and taken practical, effective steps to combat the threat of violence that has become a terrible part of our modern society. Their dedication and resolve to provide a safe haven for learning is an inspiration to us all.”
In presenting the award today Attorney General Marshall said, “The Attorney General’s Office is proud that Austin High School was selected as one of the winning schools in Alabama for 2019, receiving this distinction for the sixth time. In making this decision, judges noted many things that distinguished Austin High School: its detailed reunification plans, clear direction for staff, students and parents, and excellent attention to detail.”
Dr. Melissa Scott, principal, said, “It is an honor for Austin High School to be selected as the District 6 Overall Winner of the Safe Schools Award. Austin High School has won the Safe Schools Award six times over the past 20 years, which is a testament to our commitment to student safety. Decatur City Schools, along with our partner agencies, work hard to make sure our schools are among the safest in the nation. We realize that school safety is not just staff and students; it includes our partner agencies and stakeholders. It is a community effort.”
Attorney General Marshall is presenting the Safe School Award to nine winning schools throughout Alabama, as well as the Safe School Award of Excellence to the state’s top three schools overall.
For the Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award, one public school with the top score was selected for each of the eight state public school districts and one private school statewide. These winners are District 1: Pleasant Home School, Andalusia; District 2: Loachapoka High School, Loachapoka; District 3: Shades Mountain Elementary School, Hoover; District 4: Northridge Middle School, Tuscaloosa; District 5; Prattville Junior High School, Prattville; District 6: Austin High School, Decatur; District 7: Forest Hills Elementary, Florence; District 8: Discovery Middle School, Madison; and private school: Lee-Scott Academy, Auburn. Attorney General Marshall will visit these schools to present the awards in person.
For the Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award of Excellence, one public school with the top overall score was selected from the North, Central and South regions of Alabama. Attorney General Marshall will visit each school to present the award in person. These winners are North Region: Decatur Middle School, Decatur; Central Region: Westlawn Middle School, Tuscaloosa; and South Region: Orange Beach Elementary School, Orange Beach.
Winners were selected by a panel of independent judges who reviewed submissions from a total of 124 schools. A list of schools that received the Attorney General’s 2019 Certificate of Building a Culture for School Safety may be found in the Attorney General’s news release of December 19, 2019, available through this link.