Madison County School Board Meeting: Elmer Thomas Announces Retirement And Twenty Safety Officers To Be Hired

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By: Lance Gaither

During Tuesday night’s Madison County School Board meeting Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced his retirement after serving in the position since 2013. He has been in education for twenty-eight years and served as the principal of Madison Central High School since from 2010 until he became superintendent.

School safety was also a hot topic during the meeting.  Assistant Superintendent and Chief Safety Officer David Gilliam gave a presentation on what Madison County Schools are doing to increase student safety.  This includes insuring that all classroom doors are locked and requiring any visitor to have a visitors pass.  The possibility of having staff concealed carrying firearms was also discussed.

Another method that the school system is using is a fire alarm check.  The system involves having teachers make sure hallways are clear before evacuating students in a situation where the fire alarm has gone off.  The system was made in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting where the shooter pulled the fire alarm to get students into the opening.

The final part of the plan was to hire twenty safety monitors. These are not student positions but are going to be filled by adults and be similar to a security guard.  David Gilliam stated that hiring EKU students studying Criminal Justice and related majors as a possibility.  The safety officers will patrol school grounds to ensure that all exterior doors are shut, and report any suspicious activity they see.