Shelby Supt. asks for deputies in school zones not every school - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Shelby Co. Superintendent asks for deputies in school zones, not every school

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© Shelby County Commisioners during a school security meeting on Monday night. (abc3340.com) © Shelby County Commisioners during a school security meeting on Monday night. (abc3340.com)
© Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry. (abc3340.com) © Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry. (abc3340.com)
SHELBY COUNTY - AL -

Citizens and commissioners clash over school security in Shelby County.  The disagreement was fueled by a gunman who recently held students in a locker room at Chelsea Middle School. After it happened, many parents called for resource officers at every county school. Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller surprised many people by going in a different direction than he had on school safety.


During Monday's meeting, the Superintendent recommended putting deputies in nine school zones rather than each individual campus. That proposal contradicts Sheriff Chris Curry's request after the Sandy Hook shooting to have a resource officer at every school. 

"The public interest in school safety is definitely there," Ty Coffey, who led the online petition said. "I just don't know if it's behind the other seats where the commissioners are."

Parents told us, because Sheriff Curry used his own budget to fund additional officers, lives were saved at Chelsea Middle.

"It totally caught me off guard," Heather Mahaffey, a parent and PTO leader said. "Zoning is not good. A lot of schools, a lot of kids and you need an officer in every school."

"If we're going around the Sheriff and around his deputies are we really doing ourselves a favor?" Coffey said.

Sheriff Curry declined to comment on camera, but he told us he still firmly believes an officer at each campus is essential. Should a problem arise, they're only a short walk away instead of a drive. 

Commission Chair Lindsey Allison says, the commission trusts Superintendent Fuller and plans to use his proposal tonight as a guideline. 

"As many answered questions as you got tonight, there are unanswered questions," Allison said. "The good news we got tonight was a format for a plan. It had to come from the Board of Education via the Superintendent or the school board. They had to tell us what they were thinking and how they would approach it. They have the legal responsibility for it."

 

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