Starting Monday morning, there will be added security at every Jefferson County School until the holiday break. Parents we spoke to feel a lot better knowing this as Friday's tragedy in Connecticut is still heavily weighing on their minds.
Parent Rick Trice says "It's horrifying out there, when you drop a kid off, not to know if you're going to be able to see him again." Parent Andre Davis says "It hit close to home. I have a 13- year-old and a 9-year-old. It really made me think wow, that could literally happen in my backyard. How would we handle that?
In order to alleviate those fears, The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will have a deputy stationed at every county school for the entire school day until December 21st. Trice says "We feel a lot safer with it. Somebody is going to be around, looking out for our kids."
Rick Trice and other parents received a voice message from Jefferson County School Superintendent Dr. Phil Hammonds Sunday about the added security. He also told parents.. guidance counselors, teachers and administrators will be ready to assist students who may have questions or concerns.
Area Superintendent Jimmie Pearson had this to say after news broke of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut on Friday. "Obviously you can never say 100% you can prevent a situation like this, but do what we can to make certain we do everything in our power to make certain it doesn't happen again."
Pearson says there are school resource officers or police that patrol all schools and protective measures are in place. "We ask that everyone check into the office. We have cameras located in many schools to make certain we pay attention to who enters and we try to lock down as many classrooms and buildings we can."
Still, the extra security this week is making some parents feel relieved, although the worry still remains. Davis says "It makes me feel more relieved and safer that my sons will have someone at their school, but it still doesn't make the chance go away."
Tuscaloosa Sheriff Ted Sexton is also assigning deputies and other resources in all county elementary schools Monday after hearing concerns from parents.