Shock and horror was expressed by school officials interviewed Friday in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. While they said were waiting for more information about what happened, they said their schools already have procedures in place that should discourage such violence. Oneonta Police Chief Dennis Nayor said his officers are trained how to respond if something similar happened here.
At Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi, Superintendent Jason Thomson said: “We have everything in place we can do.” This includes one main door, where visitors are required to sign in. If someone seems suspicious, staff members are trained to notify administration. There is a contingency plan for a lock down that will move all students to safety in classrooms if there is an intruder, and a lockout that would keep unwanted individuals outside. Custodians and staff regularly make sure doors are locked.
The school works with local police agencies on its safety policy, he said. In addition Delaware-Chenango- Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services provides school safety training and staff development.
“You want school to be a warm and welcoming place, but you have to keep safety forefront,” Thomson said. “We are doing the best job possible.”
At Oneonta City School District, Interim Superintendent David Rowley said “this has left me speechless. It’s a horrible tragedy.” He has had a number of calls during the day and he assures parents that procedures are in place for lock downs and lock outs. This could help prevent these kinds of incidents, he said. He was waiting for more details about what procedures were in place at the Connecticut school.
In Oneonta, “We are a welcoming school where parents have the ability to come in,” though they are required to register in building offices,” he said.