Valdosta City Schools hosts Family Safety Night ahead of the first day of school

Director Sabrina Smith hosted the engaging meeting with the community. Several say she made...
Director Sabrina Smith hosted the engaging meeting with the community. Several say she made them feel more confident about their child's safety for the upcoming school year.(Source: WALB)
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 4:23 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - When parents send their kids to school, they put their trust in school systems to protect students and keep them safe.

Valdosta City schools say they will continue to take that responsibility seriously this school year.

“I’m extremely proud to know that this is a top priority in Valdosta City Schools,” said Elizabeth Arrington, a mother with a student in the Valdosta City Schools system. “Our kids come to school and make it home safely,”

In a recent discussion on campus safety topics with parents, concerns about weapons, vaping, and drugs were raised. One way the school system is addressing concerns about weapons is through its new weapons safety detection devices. They are similar to metal detectors that will be implemented on all campuses.

“For safety, it truly takes a team effort. Collaboration and commitment from multiple disciplines,” said Sabrina Smith, Director of Safety and Security at VCS. “To have families come in and be proactive when giving them the information that we want them to know for the upcoming school year is very important.”

Last November, Valdosta City Schools received a hoax call about a school shooting. Over 50 law enforcement officers were on school grounds within seconds. Hundreds of concerned family members were also at the school, making it hard for needed personnel to respond. Several agencies secured the school, and there was no evidence of a shooter.

“Those who were in attendance truly took away from the idea about what we do within Valdosta City Schools as it relates to safety, and how we truly make safety our priority,” Smith, said.

If there’s a school emergency this year, the school system is asking parents NOT to come to the school. There will be a family reunification center for parents to wait for their children there instead-- if needed.