Local schools have Crisis Plans in place to prevent shooting
Tragic news of the deadly shooting in Connecticut is consuming the thoughts of parents and teachers. It has many of us questioning the precautions local schools take to prevent a shooting like this from happening.
We talked with Director of Schools Ron Dykes in Washington County, Tennessee and learned a shooting like this is rare, especially at an elementary school. But Dykes says once he heard the news, he made a call to the Sheriff's Department to have officers on stand-by simply as one more security step.
Many parents seemed to be thinking one thing while waiting to pick their children up from Jonesborough Elementary, after hearing about a deadly shooting at a Connecticut Elementary School. "I worry about his safety, I hope the Principal, Assistant Principal, and everybody can protect all the kids," said Tabitha Jenkins, mother of a six-year-old boy.
It's that protection Director of Schools, Ron Dykes, says is of top concern. "It's almost unthinkable that shootings can occur in schools. But they do, and we're dealing with a cultural phenomenon," he said.
News 5 learned the school system has a Crisis Plan in place and it covers everything from severe weather to an intruder. "We practice various components of that in every building, every year. All the children, faculty, and administration know where to go, and what to do in that time," added Dykes.
For added security schools have several Resource Officers, cameras throughout the building, doors are locked, and visitors must first be buzzed into the office after speaking through an intercom. "We'd like to think it's less likely [a shooting] to happen with the most security we can provide. Perhaps it gives us a little edge, but we never ever become complacent," said Dykes.
Parents say news of this shooting is simply heartbreaking and their thoughts are with families hundreds of miles away. "For the parents not getting the best of news, know that there's a whole nation watching and praying for you," said Jason Greenlee.
News 5 also learned inside the classroom, teachers are trained to be the calming voice for students. Parents are updated with information via emails and phone alerts.
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