While details of Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., are still emerging, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said administrators and teachers here are taking time to review school safety procedures in wake of the tragedy.
Flags continued to fly at half-staff Tuesday across the country in honor of those affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people dead.
On Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza reportedly broke into the elementary school and killed six adults and 20 children before taking his own life. Lanza also killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in the home they shared before going to the school.
“It didn’t make us change anything, but it did re-heighten our awareness of how important how safety planning is,” Brooksher said. “We asked all administrators to revaluate safety plans and make sure that it really meets the need of their location.”
He offered reassurances of school safety to residents and said any parent with concerns is encouraged to contact school officials.
“To parents and the community, I still believe schools are the safest place on the planet, and we will do our very best as a collective whole to make sure they remain the safest place on planet,” he said.
Brooksher explained that safety plans for schools across the county are site specific. All schools take an in-depth look at safety plans before the start of each school year, he said, referring to safety plans as “working documents.”
Brooksher also noted school officials focus on school safety all year.
“In August of every school year, each school is required to get together with leadership team and administrative staff to develop a safety plan that is site specific,” he said. “They are required to work with and train teachers on that safety plan to make sure everyone has a true understanding of the safety plan and what role they have in keeping that school as safe as possible.”
Brooksher also noted teachers and administrators have been encouraged to be more attentive in making sure all visitors sign in and have a pass.
“We do this already, but I just asked them to pay special attention to who was entering their building, and making sure teachers are ever vigilant if they saw someone without a sticker to nicely escort them to the front office to sign in,” he said.
Read more in the Dec. 19 edition of the News.