Coast schools review safety plan in wake of Sandy Hook shooting - - The News for South Mississippi

Coast schools review safety plan in wake of Sandy Hook shooting


As nearly 400 students sat inside classrooms at College Park Elementary Monday, security was walking the halls making sure they were safe in the wake of Friday's shooting in Connecticut.

"We have a yearly training to deal with incidents like that with intruders in the building, and a situation where a person is in the building and they are involved in weapons and that kind of thing," Pascagoula Schools Assistant Superintendent Bernard Rogers said.

The district also has a detailed safety plan in place. College Park's principal said one of the major rules is that all visitors have to buzz in before entering. 

"It can be inconvenient to have to push the button. It can be inconvenient to have to wait on the door to open or to fill our sticker or to show identification, but ultimately I explain to visitors and parents we do all those things because we want to keep our children safe," Principal Suzanne Ross said.  

Officials with the Biloxi School District are reminding parents and guardians that the most important thing to remember when visiting a school campus is to first stop at the school's main office show valid identification.

"We cannot overstate the importance of following these procedures," Biloxi Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan said. "Go to the main office at the school first, have a valid ID card, and follow the instructions you are given by the principal or school representative. These are the procedures for any visit to the campus, especially when you're checking in or checking out a student."

Ocean Springs School District is also working to keep the students and staff protected at all times. 

"We have three campus police officers and we have two safety officers. We have stepped up patrols around the schools," Ocean Springs Campus Security Officer Jessie Galloway said.  

The students also participate in numerous emergency drills, so they know how to handle dangerous situations. 

"We do eight fire drills a year as well as eight lock down drills and two severe weather drills," Ocean Springs Middle Assistant principal Adelle Register said.

The district leaders said they will still continue to improve their policies and procedures. 

"Sometimes you have to use events like that to refocus what you are doing in your own district," Rogers said. 

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