Officials Discuss Kentucky Schools' Safety Procedures

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 12/14/2012 5:41 pm
Tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut reinforce how important having a plan in place at schools is.

At least, that's what the Executive Director for the Kentucky Center for School Safety, Jon Akers, said.

"We ask principals to have that emergency management plan in place, to review it every year with their local law enforcement officials, and then also review it with all their teachers, classified and certified staff members, prior to the opening of the school," said Akers.

The director added that emergency plans aren't released to anyone but law enforcement and school officials, to further limit the number of people who could infiltrate the schools.

Akers said there are procedures recommended to every school in Kentucky: perpetual lockdown (in which every door to a school is locked, save for one which is closely monitored); classroom doors closed and locked at all times (one less thing for teachers to do in a lockdown situation); and teachers, classified and certified staff members to be trained for a lockdown situation each year.

Fayette County Public School officials said they take it a step further.

"You can't get into the schools. You have to buzz the monitor, you have to state who you are and why you're there," said Chris Townsend, Director of Security for Fayette County Public Schools.

Both men said such precautions are taken because shootings in schools do happen.

"Unfortunately, it's not if they happen...but when they happen and where they may happen," said Townsend.

The hope is, said school officials, that tragedy can be minimized with consistent training exercises.

Fayette County Public Schools sent out emails and phone messages to guardians and parents of students, ensuring their children's safety.

The message also offered tips on how to talk to children about the Connecticut shootings.
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