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Local Schools Review Safety Procedures

District 109 and Deerfield High School communicate with families on the best way to help children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown.

School officials in Deerfield wasted no time communicating with families about safety and students’ emotional well being over the weekend in the aftermath of the shootings Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

In Deerfield Public Schools District 109, Superintendent Renee Goier sent an email to all families Saturday letting them know the efforts of the District over the weekend to be ready to help children with emotional and other needs today.

In particular, school psychologists and social workers will be ready to help students and will be looking for any signs leading them to believe a child needs attention. Parents who feel their children will benefit from meeting with a counselor should contact the student’s teacher.

“They (the psychologists and social workers) will be looking and listening for concerns, and they understand the best ways to talk to students about the situation,” Goier wrote in the email. Class discussion of the subject is not expected, according to Goier.

“Our school psychologists and social workers have found that those conversations tend to be difficult because students come to class with different levels of understanding and anxiety,” Goier wrote. “All of us throughout the District will be focused on keeping the daily routines that do so much to comfort children.”

Goier will be attending a meeting later today with Deerfield Police Chief John Sliozis and Township High School District 113 Superintendent George Fornero to review safety procedures. Fornero sent an email to Deerfield High School families Sunday assuring them about safety.

“There are many external and internal safety measures that we do and will continue to implement,” Fornero wrote in the email. “We work closely with the Deerfield and Highland Park Police Departments. We follow their lead in all school safety matters.”

At Holy Cross School in Deerfield, all faculty and staff are trained in FEMA procedures. This is a requirement of the Chicago Archdiocese, according to Principal Janice DiVincenzo. The school regularly conducts drills with local police and fire departments. 

In her email, Goier also listed a number of resources for families seeking ways to deal with concerns they may have

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RonnieTheLimoDriver December 18, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I hope the schools implement some REAL security improvements, not just security theater like our airports. Cameras on all entrances, monitored at the school and fed directly to the police department. Police officers or armed security guards at the schools the entire time when its in session. Increased drills for security situation. Penetration tests to see if a simulated "Bad guy" can get in without authorization, etc. Vistors cleared ahead of time if possible, the list goes on and on. Your average office business downtown has better security than our schools and yet the schools have our most previous assets, our children.
Walter White December 18, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Agreed, Ronnie. Any broken window is an access point.
D'skidoc December 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Welcome to the 21st century. Walled schools with guard towers and a perimeter are next. Maybe a moat and drawbridge. Turning our society into an armed camp means the bad guys win. But seriously, how about more attention to the deadly combinations of mental illness, and or alcohol and firearm access and our culture which ignores reality and hides behind a 2nd amendment that literally applied doesn't serve our Union well in this century.(sorry Justice Scalia, the Constitution must grow with the Nation, otherwise we might as well go back to slaves, white, landowners, and outhouses) You'd think the firearm proponents would want their hobby/past-time to be protected from the nuts who kill and maim. Firearms safety should also be about keeping the rest of us safe from those who should never have a gun, let alone a hi-cap mag. The gun industry could score actual points if it made an issue about more responsible gun ownership, rather than just more gun ownership.
RonnieTheLimoDriver December 20, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Scalia, or any Justice, does not get to change the constitution. You want to change the 2nd Amendment, there is luckily a process to do so. Our founding fathers made the constitution a living breathing document. The way to change the second amendment is to get another constitutional amendment passed, similar to how we got rid of slavery, which you reference. The proper way is not to get judges to change the law or legislatures to create laws the skirt the issue. Good luck in your quest. As to the gun industry making a bigger deal about responsible gun ownership, I think you are on to something there... However, in defense of the NRA, besides for being a lobby, there are also the single largest provider of firearm safety classes in the world through their certified instructors.
Walter White December 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Yes, I seriously doubt the NRA actually wants these types of incidents to occur. Of course they promote responsible gun ownership. However, things have gotten out of control. How can you write a law that keeps guns out of a house that may or may not have a mentally disturbed person in it? How can you write a law that will ensure that person doesn't get the key to the gun cabinet? You MUST put restrictions on the guns....somehow. I don't know what the perfect answer is but just attacking the "mental health" aspect of it is useless.
McCloud December 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
How can you write a law that will keep guns out of all houses? Any legislation of this manner is pure symbolism.
Walter White December 20, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Yes, because you and the NRA say so it must be true.
McCloud December 20, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I just have a good memory, the same goes for all the other legislation you guys pass, ineffective, symbolic, and in many cases harmful to the innocent. This one joins a long list of em.
Walter White December 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Ineffective only because it's watered down by people like you.
McCloud December 20, 2012 at 08:31 PM
You ready to go door to door looking for guns? Maybe get the Marines involved?
Walter White December 20, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Nope.
McCloud December 20, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Then why bother. Writing something down on paper does not make it happen. Enforcing it is beyond our capacity, sort of like we can't escort everybody safely across every street in America. The soup of the day is these guns, in five years you guys will be blasting away at something else when the soup flavor changes. Been through these soup du jours before, besides the President is busy being the President, his time is taken up with pesky Republicans.
D'skidoc December 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Ron, you missed my point about Scalia. He is a dyed in the wool constitutional originalist. Means HE doesn't feel that the Constitution is "living, breathing, document". As for the NRA, they represent the gun manufacturers, not the rank and file owners, at least politically. This is always about the money and the power.

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