WTVM 2/28/14 Editorial: School lockdowns after murder-suicide

Tonya Charles. Photo courtesy of Felieicia Barnes.
Tonya Charles. Photo courtesy of Felieicia Barnes.

(WTVM) - The recent tragic murder-suicide involving a woman and her estranged husband that began outside her workplace created an immediate security threat at area schools miles away.


After Tonya Moses-Charles was gunned down outside the Muscogee County division of Family and Children Services, police knew the suspect – her husband Lyle – had left the scene.

So authorities wisely put several Phenix City schools on lockdown -- schools attended by her children; schools the suspect might have attempted to enter.

Although specifics of school lockdowns are kept private for security reasons, Phenix City and Muscogee County schools tell us they have similar procedures.

Phenix City schools have two lockdown levels-- code yellow and code red.

Code red lockdown means all doors are locked and lights turned off to make it appear no children are in class. Parents are notified of a lockdown through text or email or automated phone calls.

Once the danger has passed, a code yellow is issued for teachers to continue lecturing but remain cautious.

We support school lockdowns. But before danger can strike, it's important to update the list of family and friends authorized to pick up your child at school.

It is a sad reality that domestic struggles can affect a child's safety at school.

So please make sure you can trust everyone on your list with your child's life.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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Columbus, GA 31906

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