In the wake of violence that has reportedly left , Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano issued a statement sharing the MISD's perspective on the tragedy and the measures local schools take to stay safe.
Plano said there are certain precautions each school has taken to ensure the district is as prepared for something like this as possible.
In an emailed response, the MISD superintendent noted the protocols each school is prepared to take in the event of an active school shooting incident.
Here is what he had to say:
On behalf of the Mercer Island School District, our thoughts go out to the students, families, and wider community of Sandy Hook Elementary School surrounding today’s horrific tragedy and senselessloss of life.
I join all my colleagues and educational professionals throughout the nation when I say that the safety of our students and our school communities is always at the forefront of our efforts.
The staff of the Mercer Island School District takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that our public schools are as safe as possible.
All schools have extensive and thorough crisis response plans that address a full-range of emergency situations, including but not limited to: lock downs, fire drills and earthquake disasters. Our district and school plans have been developed in coordination with King County Emergency Management System, emergency responders and the State Department of Emergency Management.
Students and staff practice the drills with appropriate fire and police officials regularly. We have internal protocols in every school and conduct drills to ensure that students, staff and parents are as prepared as possible.
The issue of school safety today is paramount in the minds of parents, staff and the wider community as a result of this tragic news. Be assured that we remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our students and staff safe.
Our hearts are heavy with sadness and grief as the news unfolds in Newtown, CT. Please join me in keeping the people involved in today’s tragedy in your thoughts.
Dr. Gary Plano