Local school districts say they are prepared to protect students

2012-12-15T01:47:00Z 2013-01-04T22:26:17Z Local school districts say they are prepared to protect studentsBy DALE LINDER-ALTMAN, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat
December 15, 2012 1:47 am  • 

Following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., local school districts say they have procedures in place to protect their students.

“First and foremost, I want to say that our hearts go out to those families and that community,” said Tim Newman, spokesman for Orangeburg Consolidated School District Four.

The district has set up safety procedures and relies on local law enforcement to try to prevent such things from happening, he said.

“We review our procedures and update them annually,” he said. “Each school has an emergency plan that deals with emergencies that might come up, including shootings.”

Teachers review the procedures and the different roles they would play during various emergencies as part of the training they receive at the beginning of each year, he said.

District 4 schools take daily precautions, such as limiting access to buildings.

Additionally, many of the schools have school resource officers, he said. The district also relies heavily on input from law enforcement.

Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five Public Relations Director Greg Carson also expressed his concern for the families of Friday’s victims.

“I need to say first that our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families in this situation,” he said.

He noted that District 5 takes precautions daily to protect students.

“We keep doors locked, and visitors have to check in at the front desk,” he said. “We also utilize metal detectors periodically.”

However, District 5 will probably take a closer look at its current policies to see if there are areas that can be improved, Carson said.

“In the light of this unfortunate incident, we’ll take a look at all our procedures and make changes to improve on any area we can,” he said. “I’m thinking we’ll take a look at what we already have in place – talk about the things we need to beef up.”

Contact the writer: dlinder-altman@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5529.

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