Superintendents Work on Strengthening School Emergency Plans
School leaders are talking about ways to improve school security and crisis plans after the shooting deaths at a Newtown elementary school. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports
Schools started putting together crisis plans after the Columbine high school shootings in 1999 but Joseph Cirasuolo, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents says they really started being implemented after 9-11. Educators now are re-evaluating these plans after a gunman killed tweny young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday. But Cirasuolo says there's only so much planning that can be done. "Cause the problem is that so long as we have mentally disturbed people who can get hands on guns there's always the danger of this kind of thing occurring again." Cirasuolo says his group will issue policy recommendations in the next few weeks on how educators can be a part of the conversation on ending this kind of violence. Meantime, he says school leaders continue to talk to their local police departments to seek input on strengthening school security. He says now is the time for local and state government also to be committed to school safety. "There are some needs that take precedence over all others. And safety of student and staff at schools, if we can't guarantee safety we shouldn't be there. And whatever resources that it takes, they need to be devoted to that so we'll be advocating for that as well." Cirasuolo says parents are encouraged to contact their child's school to learn about emergency plans and offer their input.