For Immediate Release December 3, 2018
ATLANTA -- "GAE is pleased to see the time and effort the Senate Study Committee put into this most important topic of school safety," said Charlotte Booker, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, commenting on the committee's release of it's school safety report.
"GAE wants to first commend the committee on not recommending that teachers be armed. That was our association’s number one goal with regard to school safety concerns. The committee did address an alternative, with the possibility of incentivizing outside law enforcement personnel to supplement current resource officers in coordination of course with local schools.
In addition, the association is in agreement with the majority of the report that covers everything from looking at the mental health of students, addressing the need for more counselors that have mental health training, providing additional training for school staff to recognize possible sign of danger, conducting school and grounds safety assessments and ensuring the coordination of emergency response services in the case of an actual emergency.
Possible concerns center around privacy issues with student profile data, creating psychological profiles and realizing that it’s difficult to legislate what parents should and should not do as teachers well know. In addition, more needs to be researched and defined on the issues of making it a felony for parents who act 'recklessly.'
As a key priority for GAE, we feel it is vital that we get this right the first time as much as possible. GAE feels that the committee’s work is a very good first step in identifying the challenges. As always, many of these recommendations will have an associated cost, so it will remain to be seen if the political will exists, both at the state and local levels, to make this happen."