Senator David Perdue, First Lady Marty Kemp Prioritize School Safety
Monday, August 26th, 2019
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), First Lady Marty Kemp, and Mrs. Bonnie Perdue toured Mashburn Elementary School and participated in a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and school officials on improving school safety in Georgia.
Roundtable attendees included Georgia Superintendent Richard Woods, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron H. Freeman, Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden, Forsyth County School Board Chairperson Kristen Morrissey, Forsyth County Schools Chief Operations Officer Todd Shirley, Mashburn Elementary Principal Carla Gravitt, and Mashburn Elementary Assistant Principal Jennifer Swan.
"Every student deserves access to a healthy learning environment and a quality education," said Senator Perdue. "As a father and a grandfather, keeping children safe is my top priority. When a parent brings a child into a public school, there is an implicit agreement that we will keep that student safe. Both of my parents were schoolteachers, and they talked about this more times than I can count. At the state and federal levels, we are taking action to ensure parents, teachers, and administrators have the resources they need to determine the best ways to keep their schools safe. I want to thank Principal Carla Gravitt for showing us how Mashburn Elementary School has used these resources to provide a secure learning environment and protect each and every student."
“Brian and I are committed to putting the safety of Georgia’s students first,” said First Lady Marty Kemp. “I am proud to see firsthand how Forsyth County has utilized state-funded security grants - $30,000 for every Georgia public school - to protect students, teachers, and administrators in their learning environments.”
In the 2019 state budget, Governor Brian Kemp requested $69 million for local grant money to help schools strengthen security across their facilities. This provided $30,000 per school in Georgia.
With this grant money, Mashburn Elementary School has been able to restructure all entryways to provide maximum security, particularly at their front entrance. Mashburn Elementary has also used the grant money to fund resources on the interior of the building, such as bolstering doors to each classroom, requiring official badges for school access, and creating signage to inform students, teachers, and faculty about emergency protocol.
At the federal level, President Trump signed into law the STOP School Violence Act, which allocates $1.2 billion to improve school safety and emergency preparedness.