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Georgia educators, school police discuss school safety at annual summit

Classes range from best restorative practices to field training. There’s also an active shooter simulation.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Educators and school police across the state are putting critical classroom protocols into practice as part of the Georgia Annual School Safety Summit.

The event, held in Athens on UGA’s campus, is being hosted by the Georgia Alliance of School Resource Officers & Educators (GASROE). Classes range from best restorative practices to field training. There’s also an active shooter simulation.

“We must always be training more,” said Murray Kogod, president of GASROE. “We must also be collaborating more. It’s not just enforcement, it’s also building those relations, those positive relations with the kids.”

The week-long summit, attended by hundreds of school resource officers from across the state, comes more than a week after 19 students and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Texas.

“We are working diligently to keep Georgia schools safe,” Kogod said. “However, we can always do better.”

Tracy Whaley is the chief of police for Douglas County Schools Police. The school district, which utilizes a system that can lockdown schools “in minutes,” has more than 23,000 students. He believes partnerships and sharing information helps to prevent school tragedies.

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Whaley said. “We don’t have to try to make up something to make the schools safe. There are tools available.”

Danielle Rosa, who has school-aged children, works with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. She’s charged with creating the curriculum for SROs in the state – one that focuses heavily on intervention.

“When people think sometimes of school safety, it’s not just that physical safety,” she explained. “It’s also the school environment. We don’t want anything to distract or hinder from that learning environment.

Organizers said the conference is a collaborative effort that allows attendees to take what they learn and apply it at their respective schools.

“We can never be happy with status quo,” Kogod said. “What we’re doing is continually striving to do better, to coordinate and collaborate with all the disciplines involved in education and school safety.”

Kogod and other attendees were thankful to see Gov. Brian Kemp at the event on Monday. Kemp detailed efforts in the state he believes will keep kids safe at school, most of which he provided in an update one day after the Texas shooting.