OPELIKA, Ala. — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall paid a visit to Opelika Middle School Thursday afternoon to present them with the 2016 Safe School Initiative Award of Excellence.
The award is for schools that go above and beyond to ensure the safety of all those who pass through the school’s doors. Opelika Middle School was one of nine selected for the award. This marks the second year they have won the award.
Attorney General Marshall said that there were a number of factors that made Opelika Middle School stand out.
“One of which is the direct connection between their school resource officer program and the students,” Attorney General Marshall said. “We see they serve a vital role not only in allowing law enforcement presence to be here, but also being able to be the eyes and ears to be able to look for problems and allow for young people to come to them confidentially. We’ve seen remarkable planning that’s gone into their school safety program.”
Thursday marked 18 years since the Columbine High School shootings that took the lives of 13 people, and Attorney General Marshall said that this award shows the importance of school safety.
“On the anniversary of Columbine, I think this sends a strong message that number one: school safety is important in our community and in our state,” Attorney General Marshall said. “But also to be able to highlight and show some of the good things that are going on around Alabama. When we’re here in Opelika or Pike County this morning to be able to talk about educators, law enforcement and students that are coming together for the right reasons.”