In light of the growing emphasis on school safety, Georgia is making significant strides to enhance security in its K-12 schools. The state has committed to comprehensive safety plans, increased funding, and advanced technological solutions to ensure the well-being of students and staff alike.
Investing in School Safety
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp recently presented recommendations for the AFY 2023 and FY 2024 budgets. These include notable proposals aimed at improving school safety and education. An additional $745 million in AFY 2023 and over $1.1 billion in FY 2024 will go towards K-12 education, fully funding the Quality Basic Education formula.
Directly related to safety, $115 million in AFY 2023 will be allocated for $50,000 school safety grants to every K-12 school in the state. Moreover, $26.9 million will be dedicated to increasing funding for school counselors to help address student emotional and mental well-being.
The Georgia School Safety Plans Law requires all public schools to develop a safety plan. This is a proactive measure to “help curb the growing incidence of violence in schools, to respond effectively to such incidents, and to provide a safe learning environment for Georgia’s children, teachers, and other school personnel.”
These school safety plans are inclusive, requiring input and commitment from students, parents, and public safety agencies. The plans address a wide array of concerns, including natural disasters, hazardous materials, transportation issues, weapons, and potential terrorist activities. Strategy areas include training school staff on violence prevention and school security, evaluating and refining school security measures, updating and practicing school emergency preparedness plans, strengthening partnerships with public safety officials, and creating enhanced crisis communication plans and social media strategies.
Implementing Technology for Safety
Selecting the appropriate technology for a school's safety system is imperative for successful and consistent implementation. Ideal solutions are flexible, scalable, and capable of adapting to any emergency while also aligning with a school's particular safety plan. Boxlight, a Georgia-based education technology company, provides solutions that enhance teaching and learning while also enhancing emergency alert and response systems.
FrontRow by Boxlight offers comprehensive communication solutions for schools or districts, including bells, intercom, paging, device management, and alerts, all managed through FrontRow Conductor. In situations where every second matters, emergency notifications can be dispatched swiftly via the Action! teacher mic, a FrontRow control panel installed on a wall, a mobile device, or through Boxlight Mimio or Clevertouch® interactive displays.
Boxlight's award-winning Attention! facilitates simultaneous audio and display alerts, ensuring that all students and staff have equal access to critical notifications. By seamlessly integrating with Boxlight's Mimio or Clevertouch displays, Attention! has the ability to present vital information on screens across the school, potentially contributing to life-saving measures.
A Collective Effort
School safety is a shared responsibility; it is crucial for educators, parents, community members, education stakeholders, and leaders to collectively support these efforts. Georgia is actively working towards a secure future for its students through investments, innovations, and impactful measures. In this collective endeavor, let us unite our efforts and inspire positive action to create safe and thriving learning environments. Together, we can shape a brighter future for every student, empowering them to reach their fullest potential and build a world filled with endless possibilities.