School Leaders Address Cuyahoga Falls, Woodridge Security Following Massacre
Superintendents Todd Nichols and Walter Davis, along with Board of Education member Kellie Patterson, offered their input following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
Updated Dec. 15, 11:40 a.m.
On Friday morning, the U.S. experienced one of its worst tragedies in recent memory when Adam Lanza opened fire in a Connecticut elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults.
Lanza, 20, reportedly committed suicide following the massacre, which took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The children he killed were said to be between 5 and 10 years old.
On Friday, Cuyahoga Falls Patch spoke to local school leaders who offered their reactions to the shooting and input on school security.
Cuyahoga Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols: We regularly review our security and emergency planning policies and procedures, we will again Monday in an administrative meeting. We will make any adjustments necessary to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Frankly, security would be one benefit of new buildings; they are much more secure in their design and incorporation of high-tech security systems. Until then, we will work with what we have.
Cuyahoga Falls Board of Education Vice President Kellie Patterson: In the Cuyahoga Falls City Schools, we have an emergency plan in place that is reviewed and updated yearly in conjunction with CF safety forces. The plans are then forwarded to Ohio's Attorney General so that law enforcement officials can have instant access to floor plans, safety protocol and procedures should the need ever arise. Unfortunately, it is tragedies like that in Newtown, Columbine, and Chardon that allow us to look for any shortcomings in our own contingency plans and adjust them accordingly. In addition to planning with our local safety forces, we also have drills at least twice per year in each building so that staff, students, and volunteers understand the procedures and are familiar with what is expected of them in an emergency situation. I don't believe you can prevent random acts of violence, but we can be prepared with our reaction to it.
Woodridge Local Schools Superintendent Walter Davis: We are confident that the plans we have in place – in collaboration with local law enforcement and civic authorities are sufficient. However, when events like this happen, and when we have all the details of this specific case, we will review our own security plans to ensure that we have addressed all possible contingencies. Our prayers go out to the good people of Connecticut, the parents, the students, the faculty, and the entire community there.