Photo Caption: A file photo of APD Chief Tom Pyle in East Elementary school talking to a neighborhood group this past year.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings last week, Athens City School Supt. Carl Martin has said he plans to hold a discussion today (Thursday) with his administrators and local law enforcement officials, to review security measures at the district's various schools.
"I have invited the sheriff, and I invited the Athens Police Department to come in, because they are our first responders," Martin explained, noting that the district has schools both inside and outside the city of Athens.
Martin stressed that the discussion will merely be a kind of checkup of the district's current procedures, and won't necessarily result in any major changes.
"We want to review what we're doing now, and we want to look at any suggestions that people have – are there certain things that we could and should do?" he said. "(We want to) make sure we're doing what we should be doing."
Asked whether, after Sandy Hook, his office has been receiving many calls from district parents concerned about the adequacy of security in the district, Martin said, "You know, the principals are getting a lot more than I have… I think everybody's concerned, and I think they would expect us to go back and review all of our (current procedures)."
Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle likewise portrayed the pending meeting as more of a review than a campaign to make over security measures in local schools.
"It's just a discussion," he said.
Asked whether he wiil have any suggestions for immediate changes the district could take to make its schools safer, Pyle replied, "I think there's always room for improvement. That's not a criticism of any school in the area. We're just asking, are we doing the right things, and is there anything more that we need to do."
One visitor to one of the city's elementary schools reported this week that security apparently had been stepped up a bit, with school doors locked and a monitor watching the entrance.
Martin said that this would have been a decision by an individual principal.
"I know that all the buildings have tightened up a little bit," he confirmed.