Especially with the number of recent scary fights in the Guilford County’s school system, Guilford County Commissioner Alan Perdue wanted to call attention to the need for greater school safety and honor the men and women who are helping provide it.

To that end, on Thursday, Oct.20, the board proclaimed Sunday, Oct. 16 to Saturday, Oct. 22 as America’s Safe Schools Week in Guilford County.

Commissioner Alan Perdue read a resolution expressing the importance of safety in Guilford County Schools – and the board had invited some of the officers who work in the schools keeping students and faculty safe to attend the meeting, receive the resolution and say a few words.

There have been pretty scary videos in recent years and recent weeks on local news that show some horrific fights among students – and one county official told the Rhino Times that it was his understanding a lot of the fights that happen at schools go unreported by local media.

The resolution adopted stated that “schools make substantial contributions to the future of America and to the development of our nation’s young people as knowledgeable, responsible and productive citizens” and that “excellence in education is dependent on safe, secure and peaceful school settings.”

It adds that it’s the responsibility of all county residents to enhance the learning circumstances of students by “ensuring equitable and effective classroom management, providing behavioral and mental health supportive services, offering opportunities for conflict resolution and mediation,” as well as by  “building quality school facilities that promote safety and security.”

Perdue, who was the county’s Emergency Services director for years, brought the resolution to the board and read it at the October 21 meeting.  He became aware that this national focus week was upcoming and he was surprised Guilford County had nothing planned.  He contacted county staff and said this was a very important issue and he hoped it wasn’t too late to get it onto the agenda as an addendum. That’s why, this time, the board adopted a resolution of attention in the middle of the week being recognized rather than before it started.

The resolution calls for all law enforcement agencies at local, federal and state levels to focus public attention on school safety and “identify, develop and promote innovative answers to this critical issue.”

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners and the county’s voters have already taken steps to address the safety infrastructure needs in the county’s school system by allocating $5 million towards improvements for in-building law enforcement, fire and EMS responder communications enhancements for the schools.

Plenty more money will be spent on school safety in upcoming years as the school taps into the $2 billion in school bond money that county voters have approved in recent elections.

The county has also beefed up the Sheriff’s Department’s School Resource Officer program so that those “SRO’s can be  a “stabilizing presence in our schools that helps administrators, teachers and support staff promote a safe and secure environment for our students to achieve and learn.”