Jackson County Schools Review Safety Procedures in the Wake of Sandy Hook Massacre

Marianna- Golson Elementary School Principal, Diane Long said she and her staff were working hard to keep the school in the Christmas spirit, in light of the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"This should be a joyous time of the year for children and it shouldn't be dampened by tragedy" Long said.

But the shootings have dampened spirits and left school officials to facing obvious questions on Monday.

"Is there anything else, besides what we have in place, that we can do to keep kids safe" Long asked. She said it was the question she and her staff had been wrestling with since they heard news of the shootings on Friday.

Safety preparations are nothing new for Golson Elementary, or any school in Jackson County for that matter.

"We go through the whole gamut every year just so we can be prepared" explained Jackson County Schools, Risk Management Director, Stuart Wiggins. "And the stories I hear about the heroes in the classroom- I hope we never have to do that, but I think our teachers would rise to that same level."

But after the Christmas break, Jackson County school board members have made plans to walk through every school in the district to look for possible improvements to existing safety plans.

"One of the biggest things that we've added in the past are observation cameras that tie back in to the [School Resource Officer's] office and principal administrator's office so that we can know who's walking the halls" Wiggins said. "These are some things we can do. Will it protect us from everything? Absolutely not. But it will give us a good handle on what we can do right now."

Long added, "we're doing everything possible at the school level to ensure their safety. Academics are great, but the one thing a parent wants most is for their child to come home safe."

The district had already planned to participate in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training session in January, prior to Friday's shootings.


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