Metro Schools Discuss Campus Security In Wake Of Connecticut Shooting

Friday, December 14th 2012, 7:40 pm
By: News 9

As more information unfolds about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, we're taking a look at how metro schools keep our children safe.

Connecticut Police now confirm 20 children and six adults were shot and killed Friday at a Connecticut elementary school.

12/14/2012 Related Story: Police: 20 Children, Six Adults Killed In Connecticut School Shooting

Friday afternoon, News 9 spoke with several school districts around the metro and experts about being prepared.

A spokeswoman with Edmond Public Schools says they have a layered security system, which includes locking all of the doors except the main entrance at a school. Once you enter that main entrance, you're required to swipe your license and beyond that they have armed school resource officers patrolling the halls.

Oklahoma City Public Schools also has several security measures including officers in their secondary schools. They also work closely with Oklahoma City Police and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office to develop response plans.

Mid-Del also tells News 9 they have similar security measure in place. They practice lockdown and evacuation plans regularly and have off-duty police in the schools, but Friday's shooting prompted the district to take a look at expanding their controlled access security cards at the schools.

Administrators throughout the metro released a joint statement through Oklahoma City Public Schools explaining that districts are required to have crisis plans in place, and they practice lockdown drills and evacuation procedures.

A local law enforcement officer actually goes into schools and trains staffs for a situation like the one we saw unfold in Connecticut. He shared some important tips for everyone. He says being away of your surroundings is extremely important, whether you're an adult or a child. He says our bodies usually know when to run and that's the best thing they can do. Run away and lock themselves behind a door if possible.

You're also going to want to talk with your school and kids about the plans they have in place.

Oklahoma City Police had a unit at every elementary school in the city Friday as a precaution.

Norman Superintendent, Dr. Joe Siano, released the following statement:

We join all citizens of our state and nation in expressing profound sadness over today's tragedy in Connecticut. The shocking events this morning are parents' and educators' worst nightmare.

While schools, churches and any building to which people migrate are always somewhat vulnerable to an individual intent on evil, we do have policies and procedures in place within our district to maximize the safety of students. Every NPS principal has had active shooter training by the Norman Police Department this year, and every one of our school sites has crisis plans in place.

Our teachers and students conduct lockdown drills each year to ensure to the extent possible that everyone knows how to best respond if an attack occurs. And, also to the extent possible at individual schools, exits and entrances that can be locked down during the school day are locked down.

Certainly, in light of today's events, we will take the time to review our current procedures with our staff. We have messaged our parents and guardians to remind them of our crisis planning, and informed them that school counselors are available if their children would benefit from their counsel. Our thoughts are with the parents and educators affected in Connecticut and we assure our continued determination in Norman to keeping our students and faculty as safe as possible.

Mid-Del Schools issued the following statement:

Due to the tragic incident that occurred in Connecticut today, Mid-Del Schools wants to reassure its parents and community that we have Emergency Procedures in place for all of our schools.

District Safety Preventative Measures:

• Security Officers (off duty police officers)

• All sites have visitor management systems

• Staff performs lock down drills and evacuation procedures regularly

• Staff trains with local authorities for active school shooters

• Secured access security doors

• District is looking into expanding controlled access security cards at our schools

Mid-Del has a Crisis Management Team available at a moment's notice. Our staff has been trained and certified by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

It is not the practice to share specifics of our security plans with the public as this could compromise the safety of our Mid-Del children.