CT School Shooting: Could It Happen Here?
Police say a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killed 27 people, including 20 children. See what the Cherokee County School District has in place to prevent such tragedies.
A shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school Friday morning left 27 people dead, including 20 children and six adults according to news reports.
The Associated Press is reporting law enforcement officials have identified the shooter as Adam Lanza, 20. Lanza's mother taught kindergarten at the school and he allegedly shot and killed her before fatally shooting others.
Newtown Patch reported that the gunman visited his family home in New Jersey before driving to the school. Lanza died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Patch has reached out to the Cherokee County School district to see what policies and measures are in place to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring here.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo "extends his heartfelt condolences to the community of Newtown, Conn. following this morning’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School," the district said in a statement.
"This was a horrific crime committed against the students, families and staff of that school; and, one which is simply indescribable in terms of an unwarranted wrong perpetrated against others," Petruzielo added.
The superintendent noted CCSD's top priority is for all children to have a "safe and secure environment for teaching and learning" and district staff routinely reviews and updates its safety and security plans to "ensure this priority is met."
Those policies include:
- All CCSD schools have safety plans that are annually updated, and all meet or exceed State requirements and have been approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
- All CCSD schools have policies requiring that all exterior doors be locked at all times except those doors that provide direct access to the front office; all practices in this regard adhere to local and State fire codes.
- All CCSD have Visitor Control policies that require all adults, including staff and visitors, wear ID badges at all times while on campus; all visitors are required by State law to check in at the Front Office, and all traffic into the building is monitored by staff.
- All CCSD schools have intrusion alarm systems that are monitored 24 hours a day.
- All CCSD middle and high schools and more than half of all elementary schools, including all new construction, have digital, closed-circuit camera systems.
- All CCSD schools are served by the CCSD Police Department, which provides POST-certified, armed officers for each Innovation Zone.
- All CCSD schools, including administrators, teachers, support staff and students annually practice Code Red drills that include response to an intruder/suspicious person on campus.
- The School District maintains a District Emergency Response Team and Plan, which includes a student-parent/guardian reunification plan and regular drills at the reunification site.