Rome City Schools is implementing new procedures following an two incidents on campus last week during which students were in possession of handguns.
In both incidents last week, sophomore students were in possession of loaded guns. Neither of the guns were ‘displayed to other students’ or ‘used threateningly.’ The school district moved to a ‘flexible learning day’ on Friday to allow for the school system to address safety concerns in what was the first week of school. A football scrimmage was also canceled.
The Rome City Schools (RCS) Board of Education met for a special-called meeting on August 5, 2022 to “review safety and security procedures” at all RCS campuses. During the meeting, Interim Superintendent Dr. Dawn Williams briefed the Board of Education on security issues at Rome High School as well as security protocols throughout the system. After discussion and deliberation with Board members as well as school and district administrators, Dr. Williams announced that additional protocols would be implemented at Rome High School beginning on Monday, August 8.
The following protocols will be implemented:
- There will be two entrances into the school during drop-off time, with tardy students and students with off-campus class or work experiences allowed to come in late only through the front door. Doors to the school will not be open until 7:30 a.m. each morning.
- Upon entering school, students will remove and carry in hand all jackets, hoodies, or any outer layer clothing so that these items may be examined for contraband.
- Student book bags and other bags will be searched upon entering the school.
- Additional Rome Police Department officers will be on-site during drop-off time during searches and for a specified period of time each morning.
- Administrators will also be present at each search location. K-9 officer teams will also have a presence.
- New ID badges will be printed and delivered to students within the week. Student badges will include safety code reminders added to the back of the ID, and students will be required to wear ID badges at all times.
RCS also said that weapon detection systems and scanners for entrances “will be researched and implemented as soon as possible.”
“The safety and security of faculty, staff, and students is of utmost importance,” said Dr. Williams. “Hiring security officers may be necessary until we can fully implement all of our recommendations, and RCS appreciates the partnership with the Rome Police Department as we move forward with our planning for these upgrades to our current safety and security plan.”