North Georgia mothers, grandmothers, concerned residents want metal detectors in schools
The group called Love Letters 2 Protect Our Children is sending letters to school systems and state lawmakers asking for security changes and they hope their concerns are heard.
Concerned North Georgia residents want metal detectors in schools.
This is in response to the deadly Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the incident involving a teacher at Dalton High School.
The group is called Love Letters 2 Protect Our Children. They are sending letters to school systems and state lawmakers asking for security changes, and they hope their concerns are heard.
Mothers, grandmothers and concerned residents from different parts of North Georgia are coming together for one purpose. They want children to feel safe in schools.
"I think it's a picture of the concern that parents and grandparents have for our children," Deanna Parker, a Calhoun mother, said.
The group formed after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. They called what happened there a wake-up call.
"I think it brought to everybody's mind how vulnerable the schools are and when somebody gets inside with a gun, the damage is done," Kay Henderson, a Catoosa County grandmother, said.
The group became more concerned when a Dalton High School teacher allegedly fired a shot in a classroom.
They want metal detectors to prevent guns from getting inside schools. They have written dozens of letters to school systems and state lawmakers.
"There's going to be a number of conversations that we have with them about various things that we could do to help," Kay Motto, a Whitfield County concerned resident, said.
Whitfield County school officials plan to follow up with the group after talking with the sheriff's office.
Superintendent Dr. Judy Gilreath issued the following statement:
"We appreciate the feedback and support from the community and met with the Love Letters 2 Protect Our Children group at our school board meeting on Monday night. They are very supportive and want to work with us to raise funds to improve security. We are meeting with the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office this week to discuss any options that can help to keep our students safe. After that meeting with law enforcement, we look forward to following up with the group."
Dalton Public Schools Spokeswoman Pat Holloway said they are listening to the community and parents. They plan on having a special called board meeting on March 13th at 6:30 pm at Dalton High School to give people an opportunity to discuss school safety.
According to the group's letters, their goal is to "help fund and secure metal detectors." The group stresses it's not a gun control issue, but rather another way to protect children.
They say the letters are just the beginning.
"We have to keep our kids safe, and that's the ultimate bottom line," Parker said.
The plan is to spread their message in North Georgia and eventually the entire state. They say it's so children won't be afraid to go to school.
"I would much prefer her to focus on butterflies and rainbows than to focus on safety drills and active shooters," Henderson said "That's not something she should have to be worried about."
Just recently, the speaker of the house in the Georgia legislature announced $8 million in bond funding for school security.
That will be part of the fiscal year 2019 budget to include campus security equipment including security systems, access control systems or door hardware.