School system to host Safety Summit
School system to host Community and Schools Safety Summit
Posted on 01/25/2013
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Safety is a hot topic on virtually every form of media you turn to today.  Furthermore, it is the focus of many conversations on the street, in the ball field stands and across many backyard fences in our neighborhoods.  In an effort to address how this community will respond to the increased focus on safety; Floyd County Schools will host a Community and Schools Safety Summit in the Model High School auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2013.  The summit will feature law enforcement experts, school personnel, safety officials from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and a local child development.  The group will discuss recent tragedies in communities across our country and how those events impact law enforcement, schools, parents and our children.

Participants in the summit will include: Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter; Floyd County Police Chief Bill Shiflett; Floyd County EMA Director Scotty Hancock; GEMA Regional School Safety Coordinator Anna Lumpkin; Dr. Jerry Jennings, a professor at Berry College and a Licensed Professional Counselor; Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaniel; Floyd County Board of Education Chairman David Johnson and members of the community.  The participants will seek to begin the discussion of how we as a community move forward to keep our citizens safe and still promote a quality of life that nurtures our children and families.

Law enforcement representatives Sheriff Burkhalter and Chief Shiflett will discuss how high profile tragedies have impacted their departments; Scotty Hancock will outline the impact on community safety. Anna Lumpkin, GEMA School Safety Regional Coordinator, will lead a discussion of what we have learned about the Sandy Hook school shooting.  She will outline plans the school had, what worked and what did not. She will also outline Georgia's requirements for school safety plans and how GEMA works with schools to improve safety for our children. Dr. Jerry Jennings will focus on how the tragedies, and adult responses to them, impact children and their development.  Local newspaper and radio newsman Doug Walker, Business Editor for the Rome News Tribune, will moderate the event.  

"I know that I will never forget where I was on December 14, 2012 when I heard about the horrific loss suffered at Sandy Hook Elementary," said Dr. Jeff McDaniel. "This is not an education problem but rather an issue that is brought to our doorstep. We hope this event begins the discuss of how we move forward as a community."  The summit event will be concluded with an opportunity for those attending to ask questions or make comments.

The public is invited to attend and participate in this community discussion about safety in our community and in our schools.  The Floyd County Board of Education and members from charter Local School Governance Teams, representing neighborhood schools in Floyd County, will attend the event to gain a perspective of how to proceed to improve school safety and meet the developmental needs of our children.  "We have to work with our supportive team of emergency and safety officials, parents, teachers and community to make the best decisions for children," commented David Johnson, chairman of the Floyd County Board of Education. "I can think of no better way for us to move forward as a community than to bring all parties together in one place to have an open discussion of ideas."