Superintendent Casey Chambley pleased with response to Fairfax Elementary situation

Published 4:39 pm Saturday, August 13, 2022

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Following the recent lockdown of Fairfax Elementary, Chambers County School District Superintendent Casey Chambley commented on school safety procedures and policies. He noted that while every situation is different, he was very proud of the Fairfax Elementary staff in their handling of the situation. 

“No matter how hard you train and prepare for situations like this, you are never fully ready for it to happen,” Chambley said. “Overall I am very proud of how the school handled the incident. It went as well as it could go given what was going on.”

On Thursday at 9:51 a.m, Fairfax Elementary was locked down after a call was made that a suspicious male was on school property and that he appeared to be armed with a shotgun. According to Chambley, the school was locked down in less than 30 seconds from when the call was made. When the man was found four blocks away from the school by the Valley Police Department, it was found that he did not have a weapon on his person. Officers continued searching the school grounds as well as side streets for any type of weapon, but none was found. There was no entry to any school buildings by the suspect and there were no injuries reported. The scene was cleared and turned over to school officials at 10:00 A.M. 

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“We have a really good relationship with the local law enforcement agencies and I commend them for their quick response and handling of the whole situation,” Chambley said.

When commenting on the safety of students, Chambley reaffirmed that student safety was the school district’s number one priority and that they were constantly working on positive changes to make the schools more safe.

“Our main goal is to make sure that our students are safe when they come to school,” he said. “We have a number of policies in place to keep our schools safe and we are in the process of meeting with a company on upgrading our doors with new locking mechanisms.”

Chambley also took time to address parents who may be concerned about sending their kids to school. He noted that the most important thing for parents to remember in any safety situation  is that the school and law enforcement would do their best to respond and that the best thing for parents to do is to wait until they are contacted by the school.

“I would like to thank parents for putting their trust in our schools to keep their students safe,” he said. “I know that it is scary, especially when you feel like your child is at risk, but I would ask parents to wait for us to contact them and to avoid coming to the school property during an event like this. When we are trying to get law enforcement on the scene for a proper response, it can make it a challenge when a lot of cars are already parked around the school.”