News & Updates – 2/23/2018

In January, DeKalb Schools welcomed two new members to its Public Safety division: K-9 units Rex and Rocky. The K-9s, tasked with locating drugs and weapons, are part of a new, comprehensive push for public safety. They can smell dangerous substances left behind for more than a day. They can tell if an individual has handled and even used a firearm based solely on scent. Rex or Rocky will visit a random school each week to assure no illegal substances or weapons are on campus.

DeKalb Schools’ increased safety initiative also includes a pilot program with metal detectors at numerous high schools. Metal detectors are costly to purchase and install, and they require other related expenditures such as staff to conduct the searches, training and equipment maintenance.

Students from Druid Hills MS and Clarkston HS participated in a walkout this week and held protests on their school grounds . However, some Clarkston students left campus and ventured down the street to a Quik Trip where they damaged property. The students will be held accountable in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

We can expect gun control legislation demonstrations in the days ahead, including national protests set for March 14, March 24 and April 20. The DeKalb County School District supports students’ Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression of gun control. If a student walkout or protest happens at DeKalb Schools, the school district will allow the students to peacefully protest. Superintendent Green stresses that it can be a teachable moment where students can demonstrate their First Amendment right to be heard.

Roughly 700 students from Atlanta and DeKalb high schools played hookie and watched “Black Panther” this week. 650 individual donors pitched in to raise the $30,000 needed to cover the costs of the chartered buses and theater event.

Following feedback from its stakeholders, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will employ Virtual Learning Days using its Digital Dreamers technology to make up time lost in January to inclement weather.

• HB 932 would raise the age of compulsory attendance from 16 to 17. Rep. Tommy Benton brought the bill at the request of a constituent, and he had several students speak in support of the bill.
• HB 482 – an education savings account voucher. The state portion of K-12 funding would be handed over to the parent to direct as they choose – to private schools, home school needs, tutors, etc. Up to 50% of the funds could be rolled over annually and used up to the age of 22 for postsecondary expenses.
• HB 302 changes the required wording on notices for the millage rate adoption.
• HB 961 would eliminate DeKalb County’s unique CEO form of government. The bill that was filed just Tuesday was fast tracked and is eligible for a vote on the House floor. Nancy Jester, a Republican who represents north DeKalb, cited the county’s water and sewer woes as one reason the measure was needed.

“I believe that there is a direct connection to that competency issue and the form of government we have’
I support Rep. Hanson’s bill for a number of reasons. DeKalb is uniquely disadvantaged by the CEO form of government. The politicization of basic county operations has left DeKalb plagued with incompetence and fraud. DeKalb does not have consistent technical talent that remains regardless of political leadership changes. All around us, the operations of local government remain consistent and, generally, well run because they do not fluctuate every [four] years with the election of one person.”

4 responses to “News & Updates – 2/23/2018

  1. Superintendent Green will participate in a CBS 46 LIVE on the air panel discussion this afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. on the issue of school safety. There will be several different opinions presented during an hour-long program.

  2. Tim DeBardelaben

    Stan, have you seen the plans for the new schools being built? Is there built in security features built in place?Know when I was Conway,S.C. I was impressed with the security at their High School First during school hours the only entrance that you could enter only allowed you into a entrance foyer. Which had a second set of doors which were electronically controlled. You told a person behind a bulletproof window your business and the person either buzzed you in or gave you what you wanted through s drawer like a drive in bank window. All the windows were mounted high enough so you could not walk up and look in or shoot into classroom. They also had cameras on every exterior door. The final thing that I know they did was have to Resource Officers in school. Until we change the designs of schools we are not being serious about solving the problem. Banning AR-15’s is just a feel good move that will not stop mass shootings at schools. Having armed teachers will confuse first responders when they run toward the sound of gunfire.

  3. Banning AR 15’s is a feel good move, and I’ll feel a lot better when it’s done. I’m going to limit my right to bare arms to rolling up my sleeves. Armed teachers? No thanks.

  4. I do remember when Dr. Morgan was killed. “Retired AP may also remember that DeKalb use to have a K9 Unit and a Gang Unit. A school could request a K9 search. The gang unit would come to schools and talk to students and staff about a range of problems associated with gangs, weapons and stopping violence. One of our former superintendents did away with both of these programs. The K-9s are not a new push. They are important, but Dr. Green is not the first DeKalb superintendent to start this program. I know one of the buzz terms is “wrap around services, but the hours of counselors and social workers were cut. This has never been restored. But we have a bigger public relations department. I don”t know how long we went without a head of our police department. I do not think that we have a SRO at every school. I remember at a BOE Meeting, Stan mentioned POST certification and training. Was that ever done? DeKalb needs to be honest about where we place our resources. When something happens DeKalb loves to go the Public Relations route. But what about the day to day things that should be done to keep everyone safe? As we are adding on to our schools, are we taking into consideration safety and security?