Muscogee County schools beefing up security in wake of school sh - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Muscogee County schools beefing up security in wake of school shooting

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By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA - In wake of the Connecticut school shooting, the Muscogee County School District says it has begun the process of re-evaluating all of its security plans for each school and administrative office in the district.

As students in Muscogee County headed to school Monday, just three days after the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, school officials say some parents expressed concern.

"Some principals have received phone calls from parents as expected. All parents want to know, is my baby safe?" Valerie Fuller, Spokesperson for the Muscogee County School District, says.

The school district says it is taking measures to assure your child's safety is at the forefront, starting with revisiting each school's emergency plan.

"We have asked all principals and building administrators to please check their monitoring equipment and their access control points to the school," Fuller says.

That also means beefing up security. The district says it is working with Muscogee County Sheriff's and Marshal's Offices and Columbus Police for added security.

"That's in addition to the regular policies and procedures and the school resource officers that we already have on duty in the Muscogee County School District," Fuller says.

Although officials say there is no way to predict the unthinkable, the district is always prepared as best it can be.

"There is a security plan in place for each one of our schools and they are specific to each school site," Fuller says.

Also in response to Friday's tragedy, the district says it has counselors on hand to talk to students.

"One of the most common questions is, what am I supposed to tell my child?" Robynn Chavez, a bereavement counselor with Columbus Hospice says.

Mental health experts say it's important that you also talk to your children at home.

"They might be afraid, you know, is this going to happen to me? Are they going to come and do this here? Because children  may not understand Connecticut is far away," Chavez says.

After your talk, experts say you should let your child express their feelings.

"Let's draw a picture for them, let's light a candle for them, anything to express their sorrow," Chavez says.

The school district says if would like your child to talk to a counselor you should contact the school's principal.

School officials say the increased patrols will last through the first few weeks in January.

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