Safety in schools the focus following shooting

A moment of silence was observed Monday at Sherrard Jr/Sr. High School, to commemorate the 26 children and teachers who were killed in a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

“It’s very sad and tragic,” said Principal Garet Egel, who’s also a father. “They’re the same age as one of my children, so it really puts things into perspective.”

A lot of questions surround the security measures that were in place at the Connecticut school.

Now, districts across the Quad Cities are reviewing their own policies and procedures related to dealing with an intruder or the threat of one.

“We feel like our building is very safe and secure for our students and our schools in our district,” said Egel.

There are about 30 cameras outside and inside the building.

It’s one of the ways the district is ensuring safety in an uncertain world.

You also have to be buzzed in to enter the school and a Rock Island County deputy is there every day.

“The physical security aspect out here is pretty tight,” said Chris Brooks, the deputy liason.

But, he says it goes far beyond those physical security aspects.

“We need to update the schools and the children on the policies, instead of straight lockdown,” said Brooks. “There are other ways to eliminate the threat.”

Brooks says the prevention of tragedies, like Newtown, starts at home, with parents talking to their kids.

“If the parents need help, I know some conversations aren’t easy as a parent, but that’s why I’m here, the principals are here, especially the counselors,” he said.

Other school districts in the Quad Cities are reviewing their own security.

Davenport Community Schools said in a statement:

“Our District Leadership Team met with our police liaison and reviewed the written safety and crisis protocols we have in place. We wanted to ensure that we are doing everything humanly possible to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff.”

The Moline and Rock Island school districts said pretty much the same thing.

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