Clayton County

Superintendent looks to transform Clayton County schools, communities

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Drastic safety changes coming to a local school district.

Clayton County Schools’ superintendent responded to tough questions Tuesday.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was at the ‘Editorial Breakfast’ with Superintendent Dr. Anthony Smith.

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During an open conversation Tuesday morning with the media, Smith admits they’ve struggled with academics.

But he says the first priority is safety. So far this school year, he says it’s working with things like a clear bag policy, weapons detection system and upgraded perimeter security.

“Kids gotta come home safe. (It) means nothing to have a 4.0 if you’re being bullied every day or in danger of your life,” Smith said.


Last week he talked directly at a forum to students who may cause disruptions, are found with a weapon, or are caught fighting, they won’t be in the classroom.

“You act a fool in Clayton County Public Schools and you will be virtual,” Smith said.

He says that the tough love approach will now also apply to parents, and will soon have another forum so they know the expectations.

“No more coming on campus treating our staff, treating our teachers any kind of way, coming on campus looking any old way. We got to make certain our community understands that the school environment is sacred,” Smith explained.

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Smith also talked a lot about the big physical changes coming to many schools.

Using the extra penny sales tax approved in March for education, the district plans to spend almost a billion dollars on renovating and modernizing or building brand new 36 aging schools.

That also includes new early learning centers for pre-K, new stem elementary schools, and an emphasis on athletics with upgrading facilities that are already underway.


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