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Local News

December 13, 2013

Area educators: Post-Newtown schools are safer

(Continued)

Much was in place before Newtown, but it reminded districts of the need to be ready and prepared for anything, he said. After the tragedy, the school put monitors in all offices so staff can monitor all access points. An upcoming building project will improve on that, by giving staff the ability to see more of what is happening.

Christensen said he did not want to share specifics about emergency planning. “We don’t want to publicize it so responses are not predictable.”

But with regular practicing, “We are safer because we are more aware of our plan,” he said.

Morris Central School Superintendent Matthew Sheldon said after Newtown, police agencies have worked with the district to review its emergency practices. No new procedures have come down from the state, but the school crisis committee has made small changes, he said..

While most details were kept confidential to ensure safely, Morris was willing to talk about some steps. Administrators greet students in the morning, in part to make sure nothing is out of order. The district is also working with students to let them know that if they are having a problem, such as bullying, there are people at the school that want to help, he said.

While the motives of the Newtown shooter are unknown, bullying has been a factor in other incidents of school violence, he said. Along with character education, this is a process that could reach a person before there is a problem, he said.

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