Metro Atlanta school systems set to spend millions on safety upgrades

With the school year in full swing, safety is top of mind.

"I would like to know that I have the comfort of sending my child to school in a safe and healthy environment," one parent said.

To help give Atlanta Public Schools parents peace of mind, the system is set to spend about $2.6 million on security upgrades. Middle and high schools in the district already have metal detectors, now they want to upgrade them.

"We know that our students perform better when they're in an environment when they are safe and secure," said Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin.

APS is also planning to add security vestibules that would send visitors to the front office. Elementary schools that do not already have them are first on the list with plans to retrofit middle and high schools eventually.

These new measures come months after the Texas school shooting that left 21 dead.

"It's unfortunate that other districts or other cities have to even experience that, but we do learn from those events, we make adjustments as a result of that," Chief Applin said.

Fulton County Schools is also planning upgrades. The district is looking to add license plate readers that would scan cars as they arrive on campus. The superintendent says they will also soon start installing door alarms.  

"The audible alarms will not have an on-off button," said Fulton County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney. "We're going to put those alarms on doors that should not be used for entrance or exit absent an emergency."

For mom Lauren Love the measures are great for safety. She thinks there needs to be some balance, but security is what matters most.

"We have to make it where it's not easy, especially when we are dealing with our young people's lives," she said.

The APS Police chief says school safety is everyone's responsibility and he says if someone sees something to say something.