The Cherokee County School District (CCSD) is putting plans in action that they hope will be able to prevent a mass shooting like the one that took the lives of 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last Friday.
The district has already sent a letter home to parents detailing the new plan for student safety going forward. According to CCSD spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby, this first step has already generated much positive feedback.
Jacoby shared the following response from a parent with Patch:
“Thank you Ms. [Rollins] Caglioni, for being an everyday hero. As a former teacher, I know that you work hard every day teaching and preparing our kids for the future. And running on auto-pilot in the background of your mind, behind the history facts and the list of deadlines, are all the protocols that keep our kids safe. I have no angst in my heart regarding [my child’s] safety knowing that you guys are watching over her!”
Parents who are concerned about their child's safety in district schools are encouraged to talk to the school principal about any ideas they have about improving security.
Each school will be responsible for developing, "its own individual school safety plan based on its community’s needs and in accordance with CCSD and State requirements," Jacoby wrote to Patch.
Some parents have informed the district that they believe exterior doors at their child's schools are unlocked, which could provide easy access and movement for any intruder on the property. Jacoby wants to reassure all parents that all exterior doors that do not lead to the front office will be locked at all times at CCSD schools.
Jacoby adds that there will be reasonable exceptions to this policy, such as schools with muiltiple buildings that must be accessed by students at different times of the school day and mobile trailers.
For now, Jacoby says there are no immediate plans to permanently staff each of the 41 CCSD schools with armed security. This, "major decision," would require the review of the School District and the approval of the School Board.
The board will also need to come up with a way to fund the armed guards, as, "the current CCSD operating budget only was balanced through the implementation of eight furlough days, increased class size and a shortened school calendar," Jacoby said.