Thursday, July 31 2014 1:26 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:26:08 GMT
A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics.U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. ButMore >>
A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:07:26 GMT
An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time.More >>
International investigators got their first look Thursday at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, finally reaching the site two weeks after a missile brought down the plane. Fighting between Ukrainian troops and...More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 1:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:07:24 GMT
The man accused of dousing his ex-girlfriend with gasoline and setting her on fire has been formally charged with murder in the case. Michael Kennedy, 48, was originally arrested on charges of domesticMore >>
The man accused of dousing his ex-girlfriend with gasoline and setting her on fire has been formally charged with murder in the case.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 12:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:47:06 GMT
Montgomery Police say a 17-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged after being wanted for four home burglaries.According to officials police has been on the lookout for the suspects vehicle, a silverMore >>
Montgomery Police say a 17-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged after being wanted for four home burglaries.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:46:45 GMT
CIA Director John Brennan is apologizing to Senate intelligence committee leaders after his inspector general found that CIA employees acted improperly when the CIA searched Senate computers earlier this year.More >>
CIA Director John Brennan apologized to Senate intelligence committee leaders after his inspector general found that CIA employees acted improperly when the CIA searched Senate computers earlier this year.More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Your child's safety at school was the center of discussion and debate at Alabama's state capitol Wednesday. Lawmakers, law enforcement and educators came together to discuss possible ways to stop a school shooting before it happens.
The summit comes in the wake of the Newtown, Ct. massacre that left 26 dead, including 20 children, at a local elementary school.
There was no discussion of any new specific gun restrictions in Alabama, like outlawing high capacity magazines or assault weapons, but topics discussed included everything from armed school employees to the roles of law enforcement and the state's new active shooter scenarios. The different groups met to voice all the different ideas on how best to keep Alabama schools safe.
Some speakers made it clear that focusing any policies on just weapons or security measures would be a short-sighted approach.
"I can tell you right now, a trained resource officer is a very good start, but unless you have a trained mental health professional that's in that school to help them out, you're wasting your money," said Jimmie Hart, President of the Alabama District Attorneys Association.
Presenters dedicated most of the hearing to the role of teachers and guns in public schools. Valley Elementary School teacher Marla Vaugh said issuing guns to trained staff members is not the answer.
"In my opinion, one of the best options is that each and every school have an armed, uniformed officer, or a plain clothed officer, moving through inside the campus before school, during school and after school," Vaugh suggested.
Vaugh's position was echoed by several law enforcement associations that say guns have no place in teachers' or even school administrators' hands.
"Police officers are empowered by the law and by the courts to take a person's life lawfully," said Grover Smith of the Alabama Sheriff's Association. "That's not something that needs to be handed to someone that's doing it on a part time basis."
One state lawmaker wants to arm at least some school personnel saying he would feel better about his granddaughter's school if there was someone with proper training to protect students in a situation like the one that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Probably you would need two people designated in some of these schools that could handle a weapon," said Rep. Kerry Rich (R-Albertville). "And I also think that you would have to set up proper procedures as to where you would store the guns and handle the guns. There's a way you could do this," he stated.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said his administration is working to protect schools and public buildings. Bentley has tasked his Homeland Security Director, Spencer Collier, to lay out a strategic plan for preventing and responding to active shooter situations.
The governor's office says there is a vital role played by the public and encouraged anyone witnessing suspicious people or activities to contact the state's anonymous hotline. The number is 1-866-229-6220. An online form is also available here: http://fusion.alabama.gov/Report-Suspicious-Activity.aspx.