Channel 2 gets exclusive look at GEMA safety plans for schools across the state

ATLANTA — Nearly three weeks after the Texas school shooting in which more than 20 students and teachers died, Georgia is set to unveil its new school safety plan.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot got an exclusive preview of the two plans: one guide and one template.

Georgia Emergency Management – Homeland Security has been working on the plan since July 2021, and is set to officially unveil it at a school safety conference in Columbus next week.

“I can’t think of anything I value more than my kid’s life,” said GEMA-HS Director Chris Stallings. “There’s nothing that means more to me than my children.”

Stallings said they’ve been working on the plan for months, but the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, gave their work more meaning.

The plans are really more of guidelines or minimum standards that each school district should meet, yet they leave the details of how to meet them up to each individual school district according to their resources and abilities.

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“You can’t ask Decatur County and the City of Decatur to do the same thing,” Stallings said. “In name only are they the same, so their resources are different.”

The plans cover every possible emergency from tornadoes and student unrest, to bomb threats and active shooters.

On active shooters, the plans recommend each district come up with their active shooter plan that involves local law enforcement along with EMS and other emergency responders.

They should have set lockdown procedures, and they should train school personnel in active shooter protocols.

The plans insist all outer doors be locked and checked often to make sure they are locked.

Stallings said the plans can’t stop bad people from doing bad things but can help the schools and emergency responders handle the situation better when they do.

“We’ll never stop bad people from being bad people,” Stallings said. “But if we can prevent the ease of which they do bad things, it deters a lot of their desire.”

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