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Area schools reassess security measures
After the horrific shootings in Connecticut on Friday, schools across the country tried to return to business as usual Monday morning, including schools here in the Tri-Cities.
But as teachers and students return to the classroom, questions still persist, especially from children.
Many schools had counselors on hand to talk those kids had fear of being at school. They wanted to reassure them that plans are in place to protect them during emergencies. And protecting those kids is each school district's number one priority.
In classrooms all across America, school children are learning their ABC's, writing and math. But in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, some children fear "are we safe?"
"If it were one of my children, my wife and I would be spending time reassuring that child that schools were safe and unfortunately bad things happen," said GIPS Superintendent Dr. Robert Winter.
Districts across Central Nebraska, like Grand Island Public Schools, say safety is and always will be its number one priority.
"You come to the front door, you'll buzz and we know when people come in," said Dr. Winter.
Kearney Public Schools issued a statement on Monday saying:
"When it comes to your child's safety, Kearney Public Schools is serious in our approach to make our schools safe and secure.
Since the tragedy in Columbine 13 years ago, schools have taken security very seriously. We don't look the same way we did pre-Columbine. What's driven us to the change is unfortunate, but we have changed and I believe that's positive."
Along with reassuring students school is a safe place, counselors are also at schools this week in case students do have questions or just want to talk.
Hastings Public Schools sent a letter home to parents on Friday saying many typical childhood fears resurface or become heightened when they hear about tragic events.
"We just wanted to help parents to the greatest degree we could because we knew in some cases kids were going to come home and have some pretty hard questions and that parents needed as much help as they could get in responding to their children," Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Craig Kautz said .
Unfortunately, it's events like what happened at Sandy Hook that make districts across the country reevaluate their own safety procedures if a tragedy were to happen at their school.
Kearney Public, for example, says its schools practice, review, edit and refine safety and security procedures systematically and will review those measures in light of the Connecticut tragedy.
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