Cobb school district hires new leader for safety initiatives

The Cobb school board approved a new position to oversee school safety. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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The Cobb school board approved a new position to oversee school safety. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

The Cobb County Board of Education on Thursday approved the hiring of an assistant superintendent for school safety operations less than a week in advance of the new school year.

The new position will directly oversee the district’s school safety initiatives.

The board promoted Osborne High School Principal Josh Morreale to fill the district-level position. The district has not hired a new principal for the school.

“Student and staff safety will always be the top priority in the Cobb County School District,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said in a press release. “The new assistant superintendent for school safety operations will make sure our school buildings are as safe and prepared as they can be, so our principals and teachers can concentrate on teaching and learning.”

It’s the latest initiative focused on school safety in the state’s second-largest school system.

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The board approved a policy earlier this month that would allow the superintendent to permit some staff members to carry weapons on campus, in addition to its team of about 70 school resource officers. Ragsdale referenced plans to hire additional employees to function as campus security.

The move was controversial: Some parents, community members and board members wanted to know more information about who exactly would be allowed to carry weapons. The policy prohibited teachers from being allowed to do so.

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The district is also rolling out a new crisis alert system this school year called Centegix. The system will allow all staff members to quickly report emergencies. The district switched alert systems after its last one, AlertPoint, was hacked, triggering a districtwide lockdown when no threat existed.

School starts Monday in Cobb County.