As the nation continues to mourn the tragic school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. that claimed the lives of 20 young children and six adults, schools throughout the ABC Unified School District are continuing to practice lockdown drills in an effort to prepare district staff, teachers, students and first responders in the event of a critical school incident.
Today, Cerritos High School will be participating in a lockdown drill with at least one deputy from the Cerritos Sheriff's Station on hand. A similar drill took place at Artesia High School on Monday.
"The schools in area have been practicing and will continue to do lockdown drills," said Cerritos sheriff's Lt. Jeff Deedrick. "The purpose of having a deputy on site during the drill is to have them monitor the process, make contact with the school administrators and bring back any pertinent information that would enhance our response to a critical school incident."
Deedrick said that even prior to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, members of the Cerritos Sheriff's Station's Special Assignment Team already had in place an in-depth and updated school site safety plan for each of the local schools in preparation of any emergency situation that would require an immediate response from local police and fire personnel -- a fact that would come as a relief to many parents who now wonder about the safety of their own children in our local schools.
As news of the mass shooting in Conn. last Friday spread, parents and families flooded the ABCUSD offices with phone calls expressing concern about the safety of their own children, prompting district Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu to convey reassurance to the ABC community.
In her statement, Sieu stressed that the district was dedicated to the safety of its students and staff each and every day.
"We will continue to be vigilant and will take all measures to ensure that our students are safe in school. We continually work to maximize student and employee safety in our schools," Sieu stated.
This is done, she said, by:
- Maintaining excellent relationships with the local police and fire departments and city officials in the cities we serve. They always provide outstanding rapid response service whenever called.
- Regularly practicing school-wide drills, including lockdown drills, to prepare for worst case scenarios.
- Maintaining an emergency communication system that we use to connect rapidly with our parents by phone and or email.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS:
Do you have concerns about the safety in our local schools? What issues or concerns would you like to see the school district or local law enforcement address?