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.
Schools are perceived as a safe place for kids, though few have security measures in place to defend against violence like what happened at Sandy Hook School.
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.
Parents were notified by a reverse 911 call that went out to all Newtown public school families, NBC reported.
Residents in Half Moon Bay posted on Facebook in response to the shooting:
- Adrienne Asher: Gun control. Now.
- Terri Reece Schoenrock: I don't know. But this has to stop. Children and adults are innocent. We have to start with support for mental health.
- Angela Elmore- Gallardo: Mental health is a huge issue right now.
- Hallie Adams: I agree. I think that this young man had issues and I bet people were aware of it and chose to ignore it.
- Claire Sheehan: Who sold him a bullet protective armor suit? And, Anger issues? At the principal? Much seems to be amiss here. There must have been signs.
Pacifica resident Maureen Corps on Facebook said: "When we're far from tragedy but deeply upset by it, we want to take action. I don't know if any action is necessary right now, beyond more tolerance & more love for each other."
Pacifica School District superintendent Wendy Tukloff said that the school district understands the need to have plans in place that are not only proactive but also support emergencies that may arise.
"We have emergency plans at both a district-wide and school level," said Tukloff to Patch in an e-mail. "We review the plans annually to ensure we are current in practice and work closely with Pacifica Police Department. Schools practice emergency drills throughout the year, thus putting our plans into action. As for visitors on campus, all visitors are to sign in at the front office and wear an identifier such as a visitor pass or name tag."
The Sandy Hook shooting also has pushed gun control into the national spotlight again.
Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Fransisco/San Mateo who has been an advocate for stricter bans on assault rifles in California, sent condolences to the children and families of Newtown.
“In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies," Yee said in a prepared statement. "While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder.”
After the mass killing of six people in August at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, Yee told Patch that he wanted stricter regulations on the purchase of weapons.
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