Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says the city is confident but continues to review safety procedures to ensure that schools remain safe. Sarno met with a team of school, public safety and health officials today (Monday) to discuss safety procedures in light of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. Sarno says the procedures are not a knee-jerk response to the events in Newtown, but part of an on-going, pro-active approach to keep students and teachers safe.
“So we wanted to send a message, God forbid this was to happen any other place or any other time, of reassurance. What we do day in day out… preventative. And what we would if God forbid if something occurs at this point in time.”
Sarno was joined by School Superintendent Daniel Warwick who says a team of more than 20 police officers work daily inside the city’s high schools, as well as middle and alternatives schools. He says following the Newtown incident, police patrols will also monitor elementary schools. And Warwick says more than a million dollars has been invested in recent years for security upgrades at all school buildings.
“There’s a locking system, a buzz in system at every school. Cameras set inside and outside. So there’s a lot of security steps that have been taken to make our kids as safe as possible.”
Warwick says trained clinical counselors are also available in each school to deal with any issues facing students. But officials are also asking parents to be on the look out for changes in their children’s behavior, such as difficulty concentrating or sleeping, or sleeping too much, the loss of energy or appetite or over-eating. They say those can be signs that children are having trouble coping and should be reported to the school department for assistance.