Keeping Our Students Safe

The Effingham County School District makes every effort to equip our students with the educational foundation necessary to succeed in today’s society.  However, we recognize that, in order for our children to learn effectively, they must feel safe in their environment.  Recurring news of tragedies on school campuses has heightened public awareness to the undeniable need for practical and effective school safety measures, and our school district is no exception.  In response to that need, we have taken proactive steps to ensure the ongoing protection of our students and employees.  After all, preparedness is key, and no child should fear going to school, just as no parent should fear sending their child to school any more than any other public place

The Effingham County Board of Education has opted for some common-sense approaches to strengthening our safety measures.  Our Board has approved the allocation of additional dollars in this year’s budget to be utilized towards measures such as increasing our number of resource officers as well as purchasing safety vestibules for our middle and high schools.  Through the existing partnership we have with the Effingham County Commissioner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office, we have been able to secure two additional full-time resource officers for our school system.  These officers will provide relief when a school resource officer is out or called away to another duty.  We are sincerely grateful for our remarkable partnerships with local law enforcement including the Springfield, Guyton, and Rincon Police Departments as well as the Effingham County Sherriff’s Office.   The ongoing communication and cooperation we maintain with these agencies have allowed us to offer our students a level of security that would, otherwise, be unavailable to them.
The installation of safety vestibules is forthcoming for each of our middle and high schools as well as our Effingham College and Career Academy.  We deeply appreciate our local delegation for their successful efforts to secure state dollars to help fund this project.  Plans are currently underway to begin the installation of these vestibules as soon as possible, and we are confident that these will provide an extra layer of security for our students.  In fact, each of our eight elementary schools currently benefit from safety vestibules whose purchase would not have been possible without ESPLOST revenues.  Our school district would like to thank each of the members of the Effingham community who support the ESPLOST tax that makes projects like our vestibules a reality.
Moving forward, the Effingham County Board of Education has voted to designate additional ESPLOST funds to be used towards school safety for any capital improvement.  Thoughts for the future include the purchase of additional cameras as well as the update of our current locking systems.
While our school district recognizes the need for school safety expenditures, our greatest safety resources are the eyes and ears of our teachers, students, and parents.  We ask that you always be aware of your surroundings and report anything that seems odd or out of the ordinary.  Even if your suspicions are determined to be unfounded, you will have played a critical role towards protecting our children and ensuring their wellbeing.
Thank you for entrusting your children to us each year.  We do not take this responsibility lightly, and we hope to continue earning your trust as we educate and protect your children throughout each new school day.
Randy Shearouse
Superintendent of Schools

Previous ArticleNext Article