Lafayette County Superintendent of Schools Robby Edwards said a review of the districts security measures are on tap in the wake of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“Let me start by saying we have all been saddened by what happened at the school in Connecticut and our prayers go out to those families,” said Edwards. “This has certainly heightened our awareness and caused us to look at the level of security we are offering our students.”
Edwards said over the past few weeks he has been meeting with a team to discuss how to improve the safety of the students.
“We had discussed a number of things from traffic safety, abduction, and also a shooter on campus,” said Edwards. “We had already formulated our plan and was getting ready to introduce it when we received news of the school shooting. Of course this put a sense of urgency on getting the plan rolled out.
The team consisted of Supt. Edwards, Joey Pearson (Director of Support Services), Stewart Hancock (High School Principal), Stephen Clark (High School Dean), Gina Hart (Elementary Principal), and Alissa Hingson (Elementary Dean).
Since Friday, Dec. 14, Edwards said the following changes have been implemented.
- The locking of all gates on any roads leading on to campuses where children are present.
- Locking all pedestrian gates to campuses after the students are on campus in the mornings.
“These gates are not unlocked again until the buses are here to pick the students up to go home. Each teacher is also locking their individual classroom doors,” said Edwards. “These were the things we felt we could implement right away. Through information obtained through our school resource officer, Officer Tysall, we are additionally looking at having a team come in and assess our perimeter security so we can begin making improvements there as well.”
Edwards said he also spoke with Sheriff Brian Lamb, who is looking into training school employees to better prepare if they were to encounter an active shooter at one of the schools.
“Our teachers have been very supportive and have already begun to come up with additional ideas for making our campuses more safe for our students,” said Edwards.