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Davis cites construction, security as big issues facing county schools
Jan 05, 2013 4:20 pm
As Wilson County Schools Director Mike Davis looks ahead to his last months in the position, he sees a lot of changes on the horizon.
"I think the biggest things on the agenda for the rest of the school year will be the completion of three of the four construction projects we're working on now," Davis said.
He was referring to the additions and new construction at West Wilson Middle School, West Elementary and Rutland Elementary. The fourth project, the construction of the new Watertown High School, is set for completion in 2014.
Davis noted that the thing on everyone's mind following the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. - school security - will also be on the table for the Wilson County School Board.
"As we go forward, we'll be looking into ways to increase school security," he said. "I don't know how that will be accomplished, but we will be looking at alternatives. We've already added 13 secure vestibules to the schools."
He added that additional security measures will be considered.
"I feel strongly about adding other layers of security, such as buzz-in systems so school personnel can identify visitors before they let them in," Davis said. "With secure vestibules, a buzz-in system and a School Resource Officer, that's three layers of security; four, if teachers can lock their classroom door."
He is skeptical about the idea that classroom teachers need to arm themselves.
"I don't think that is a good idea," he said. "That's something they shouldn't have to do."
Davis noted that Sheriff Robert Bryan is receptive to extra security in the schools.
"Sheriff Bryan seems to be on the same page as Sheriff (Terry) Ashe and I when it comes to having more SROs in the schools," he said.
Generally, Davis said he expects the school system to be dealing with the usual - budget debates and the continuing growth in the county schools, along with curriculum changes.
"Another big issue will be whoever the board chooses to replace me," said Davis, who announced his resignation in December.