Video: Two Years After Sandy Hook Shooting, Local Schools Improve Security
LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – It was just two years ago on December 14, 2012, that a mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut shocked the nation. Over two dozen people were killed and school districts all over the country were in search of new ways to keep students safe.
“Any time we have a crisis like this, it causes you to go back and look at your own crisis management plans to see how you’re handling those,” says Lynn Wright, Superintendent of the Lowndes County School District.
Just 11 days before Christmas in 2012, 20 children and six adults were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy prompted schools across the nation to make sweeping changes in how they protect students. Lynn Wright is Superintendent of the Lowndes County School District and says preparation is key to saving lives.
“Since that time we’ve had shooter drills on each campus. We go through all of our crisis plans with our principals,” says Wright.
The Lowndes County School District has made dramatic changes in how they secure school campuses. Employees now have to use key cards to enter and leave campus buildings. New security doors have also been implemented.
One of the security measures at New Hope High School is the doorway entry system. You have to be buzzed in through the secured doors, then the security officer will verify your identification.
“Since Sandy Hook we have implemented a large array of different security measures. We now have full-time SROs, which are licensed, card-carrying deputy sheriffs that have arresting powers here on campus and there’s one each of campuses. We also have a SSO team, which is through a private security company, where they have security officers here on campus that monitor our doors and monitor traffic throughout the hallways,” says New Hope High School Assistant Principal, Sammy Sullivan.
Sullivan says the school buses have also been equipped with cameras. Lowndes County School District is also using the NOW program, which allows administrators to use a smart phone app to alert police in the event of an emergency.
New Hope High School has nearly 100 cameras on campus that detect motion, record sound and can photograph at night.