Local News

Story published: 09-10-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Only a handful of people have access to the results of security assessments at county schools, but how many of them have BOTHERED TO LOOK?

By Karen Sells
Assistant Editor

A concentrated effort was required to complete security assessments in all of the Washington County schools before the final student day on May 24, but Board of Education members don’t appear to feel the same sense of urgency to learn the results of those assessments.

During the Sept. 3 meeting of the Board of Education Facilities Committee, Chair Chad Williams asked Director of Schools Ron Dykes if all board members had met with him regarding the findings and recommendations of the security assessments.

Dykes announced the results were in-hand during the August meeting and said implementation of the recommended security program would be in the seven-figure range in terms of cost.

While state law does not require the BOE to make the information available to the public, school board members were asked to meet with Dykes privately or in teams of two or three to review the report of the $12,000 assessments.

As of Sept. 3, Dykes said he had yet to meet with board members Phillip McLain, Keith Ervin, Mary Lo Silvers, Jack Leonard and David Hammond.

“We have some issues to address, but we can’t get a plan together until everyone meets with Mr. Dykes,” Williams said.

He made the same reminder two days later during a meeting of the full BOE where he was unanimously elected chair during the annual reorganization of the board.

“The security assessments have been completed for three weeks,” Williams said. “I encourage you to (meet with Dykes) as soon as possible so we can implement.”

The Washington County Commission is meeting in called session Tuesday, Sept. 10, following a public hearing, to vote on the 2013-14 budget, which includes three additional school resource officers.

Almost $1 million for school security improvements is included in the $10 million bond offering, which was approved by county commissioners last month.