ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - Orange Beach school officials were presented with the Attorney General’s Safe School Initiative Award on Monday, September 9, 2013.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the city of Orange Beach began upgrading the elementary school, spending more than $35,000 on security advancements.
Orange Beach Elementary Principal Lori Brocato said that includes panic buttons for all staff, upgraded surveillance, a full time resource officer and other advancements.
“It says a lot about our school and what environment we have for our children. You can have world class academics but if you don’t have a safe school environment, the academics aren’t worth it. So we take pride in that," said Brocato, "If we have an emergency, we activate the alarm and police are dispatched right away. We also have a scanning system at the front office where we scan drivers licenses. If there’s something in their background, I get a text to my phone that alerts me there’s someone that doesn’t need to be here."
Orange Beach Elementary is one of only eight schools, each from a separate district in Alabama to receive the award.
Attorney General Luther Strange began the Safe Schools Initiative to encourage schools to work toward strengthening the safety of their campuses.
“It is critical, not just because of the recent events like Sandy Hook, but just because we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our students safe and in a place where they don’t have to worry about their security,” Strange said.
Attorney General Strange said they plan to take things that worked in Orange Beach and apply them to other schools in the state.
“It means a lot, looking at the smiling faces of these students and knowing that their teachers and administration are doing everything they can to make sure they’re safe,” said Strange.
Attorney General Strange said, they plan to write a "Best Practice" manual for the State of Alabama based off the winners of the Safe School Initiative Award.
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