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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020

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Attorney General Steve Marshall Presents Decatur Middle School with 2019 Safe School Award of Excellence

(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall today presented Decatur Middle School with the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award of Excellence, North Region.

Three schools were selected for the Attorney General’s 2019 Safe School Award of
Excellence, one for each of three state regions. In addition, 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, 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 Decatur Middle School was selected as one of three schools in Alabama to receive the 2019 Safe School Award of Excellence. In making this decision, judges noted many things that distinguished Decatur Middle School: required drills and training, active shooter training, full-time school resource officer, school tip line, panic buttons, monitored camera system, steel doors, and mentoring and life skills program for at-risk youth.”

Principal Luke Bergeson said, “School safety is the result of the collaborative and
intentional work of district leadership, teachers, students, parents, community leaders and emergency service personnel. DMS is proud to be recognized as a school whose staff and students greatly benefit from these combined efforts."

Attorney General Marshall is presenting the Safe School Award to nine winning schools throughout Alabama, as well 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.

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The primary duty of the Attorney General is to serve as legal counsel to Alabama's state agencies, departments, and officers. Our office is prohibited by law from providing private citizens with legal advice, representation, or opinions (Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 36, Chapter 15). The Attorney General's Office does not handle any domestic cases (example: child support, child custody, divorce, etc.) or probate matters (real estate, wills, property disputes, etc.). To obtain an attorney or legal aid referral, you may contact the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at http://www.alabar.org or by calling 1-800-392-5660 .