Parents Taking Action to Help Prepare Local Schools for On-Campus Emergency in Wake of Newtown, Conn. Tragedy

UPDATE —FRAZIER PARK, CA (Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.)—New El Tejon Unified School Board member Scott Robinson, who is also a parent of two children in the ETUSD system, submitted this note, which he sent to ETUSD Superintendent Katie Kleier this afternoon:

"With the horrific elementary school massacre in Connecticut this morning, the safety of our schools need to be questioned. It is just too easy for anyone to walk on to any of the 4 campuses. …The unfortunate events of today is only a reminder to all of us that we need to be prepared and review our school safety policies and lock down procedures. It might be beneficial to send out a communique on Monday to all parents with regards to this incident and what they can do if their children have questions or become frighten that this could happen to them.

"As a parent and firefighter my heart goes out to the parents of those students and the first responders who will not forget the imagines they saw this morning."

FRAZIER PARK, CA (Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.)—Parent Kelly Franti spoke with Kern County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mark Brown this morning in a conference call arranged by The Mountain Enterprise to discuss setting up emergency response training for schools in this area in the case of an on-campus emergency.

Franti, who has two young children in the El Tejon Unified School Districtl of the same ages as those killed in today’s Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, said she served for 3.5 years as a 9-1-1- Emergency Dispatcher in a multi-agency centralized dispatch center outside of Chicago for medical, fire, and law enforcemen agenciest, then served in the same capacity in Durango (La Plata County) in Colorado, shortly after the Columbine High School shooting there.

Sergeant Brown suggested that the ETUSD Board or the superintendent request assistance with such training from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. He said he would be glad to serve as a liaison for the effort.

"Our personnel are well-trained in how to respond in the case of an ‘active shooter’ on a school campus, and it is one of the few events in which deputies are authorized to enter the campus and immediately take action though it may put their own lives at risk," Brown said. He added that although KCSO officers are trained in how to respond to dangerous events on school campuses, he and the deputies are not knowledgable about how to train school personnel and students to respond.

"That is the problem," Franti said, "Your people know what to do, but our students, administrators and teachers need to have drills, to help them be prepared and safe."

Franti said her next step is to talk with the president of the ETUSD Board of Trustees to help get a directive to the district to set up such a training. She offered to help set up a committee of parents who may wish to be part of supporting such an effort.


This is part of the December 07, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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