By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
As Franklin County school students head back to the classroom this week after their holiday break, each school in Franklin County will have either a police officer or sheriff’s deputy patrolling the hallways and grounds.
It is part of a new security plan put in place over the break by Franklin County School Superintendent Dr. Ruth Odell in conjunction with local law enforcement and is in response to the shooting in Connecticut last month.
Dr. Odell said the having a law enforcement officer on site at each school campus should give students a better sense of security.
“There’s no way that there’s not children who haven’t heard of this,” Odell said. “A lot of this has been very horrific for kids. So this is just to let them and parents know that law enforcement and the school system work closely together. That should bring some semblance of reassurance.”
Spearheading the school security effort is Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas.
Thomas said each of the four elementary schools will have a resource officer.
“All elementary schools will have an officer at the school,” Thomas said. “The Royston and Lavonia Police will be working with us and we’re going to do our best to make it safe for the children and the teachers.”
In addition, while both the middle and high schools already have resource officers, Thomas said there will be extra security there as well.
“Our Student Resource Officer rotates around the schools and teaches the drug class, but now we’ll have an officer at the Middle School and the High School as well as the elementary schools in Franklin County,” Thomas said.
Extra patrols at the six schools in Franklin County will be on each campus through the rest of the school year.