Dalton Public Schools Board of Education meets for first time since scare at high school

The DPS Board of Education met for the first time since a high school teacher shot a gun through a classroom window. (Image WTVC)

School systems all across the nation are tackling one question; how can we keep schools safe?

The conversation comes weeks after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine's Day. A second gun scare followed weeks later, when Dalton High School social studies teacher, Randal Davidson, barricaded himself in his classroom, and a fired a gun through a class window.

On Monday night, the Dalton Public Schools Board of Education met for the first time since that incident. One item on their agenda: review of the school system's security.

During a short discussion on the topic, the district's interim Superintendent, Don Amonett, invited the public to attend a listening session tomorrow on school safety. He says there, they'll tell people what plans school system already has in place and the board will listen to suggestions from the public about where they think plans can improve.

"We're trying to get a lot of input," Dr. Amonett said. "I've already been to staff meetings and student council meetings to get input from students and staff."

Board members thanked first-responders for their help during the situation surrounding Davidson. They also called on the public to attend Tuesday night's meeting so they could speak more in depth about their school security plans.

Dr. Amonett says the school system is already considering a variety of ideas.

"Ranging from, making sure we have more keys, to more extreme, metal detectors at every door, and putting fences around our schools," he said. "We want to get more ideas, so that we can get a smaller group together to look at these ideas."

After the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.. a nation-wide walkout has been planned for Wednesday. That's where students are expected to leave the classroom for 17 minutes; one minute to remember each of the lives lost in the shooting.

Superintedent Amonett says principals in Dalton don't expect any students to participate, but if they do, he hopes the protest is done safely and in a timely manner.

"Our purpose is education," he said. "We need students in our classroom so they can continue learning. When they walk out, they're missing that instruction, so it can't be extensive. It has to be a timely situation."

The school security listening session will happen at the Dalton High School Theater Tuesday night at 6:30.

Davidson, who is charged with carrying a weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and disrupting a public school, is expected to be in court on Friday.

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