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La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools Practice Emergency Plans With Monthly Drills

Superintendent Brian Marshall also said that teachers and staff are trained on a variety of emergency plans by local police and sheriff's deputies.

The mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday morning horrified the nation and left parents questioning how they can protect their children.

Twenty-seven people were killed—the majority of them children between the ages of 5 and 10—at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. The violence is the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

The tragedy has also made many school districts re-evaluate their own crisis plans.

In the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, there are a variety of emergency plans – from earthquake to lockdown protocol and more.

Superintendent Brian Marshall told Patch that these plans are very imporant to know, and that the district's schools practice them once a month with a drill. He also said that teachers receive training on the plans from local police and the Sheriff's Department.

At Sandy Hook, the school's doors are locked at 9:30 a.m., and visitors are required to sign in, according to the Sandy Hook School website. When violence erupted Friday morning, the school went on "lockdown," according to media reports. That means teachers and staff locked students inside classrooms rather than risk evacuation.

Stories of heroic teachers and school staffers at the school have emerged. One teacher locked all of her students in a closet to protect them, the Huffington Post reported.

Marshall also said when tragedies like this happen, talking about it with kids is left to the parents. He did, however, add that though the district does not typically notify parents of news items, he did use the school's phone system to call parents on Friday with a message.

Sandy Hook parents were notified by a reverse 911 call that went out to all Newtown public school families, NBC reported.

See more coverage on Newton Patch:

  • Patch Exclusive: 'It Wasn't Me' Man Named as Shooter Writes
  • Report: Gunman's Mother Was Target and School's Kindergarten Teacher
  • Reaction: Sandy Hook School Shooting
  • Police Raid Sandy Hook Home Hours After Shooting

Patch field editor Jennifer Squires contributed to this story.

Emily Chamberlin Kattawar December 17, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I counted all of the easy entry points to our school this morning when I went to drop off my kids. There are at least 8 openings, some are gated, some are wide open. I know that we are supposed to check into the office when we are going onto the campus, but, there is no single entry and exit point during school hours, so everyone goes through the closest opening--especially on awards days when lots of parents just go straight to the auditorium to find a seat. I'm not saying the school isn't safe, but I don't think the doors automatically lock when there is something happening. It would be nice to put in fancy new locks and security measures, but I can't imagine there is room in the already suffering budget.

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