Norwin School District officials reassure parents after shooting
Norwin School District officials are reassuring parents in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The Dec. 14 shooting at the school claimed the lives of 26 people — including 20 children — and left parents, students and school administrators across the nation taking a second look at school safety.
Kris Laukus, president of the Hahntown Elementary Parent Teacher Association, said even after the shooting, she has never worried about student safety.
School officials have taken several safety precautions, Laukus said.
“Safety has crossed my mind, but I feel safe at Norwin,” she said. “Our schools are locked, visitors have to buzz the secretary to get in, and they're always updating and looking at safety policies.
“Norwin administrators are doing everything they can to make sure our schools are safe.”
After the shooting, Norwin officials met with members of the North Huntingdon Township police department and township emergency-management coordinator Gene Komondor to discuss and review safety and security issues, according to Superintendent William Kerr.
District officials also train all teachers and support staff procedures to deal with emergencies, Kerr said.
“Despite the recent acts of violence across the country, we still believe that one of the safest places is a school,” Kerr said. “There may be some questioning that, but the truth is, our schools have implemented procedures to lock down (during the day), buzz in visitors and ask for identification, if warranted.
North Huntingdon police Chief Andrew Lisiecki declined to discuss the school district's safety and security plans in detail but said the department is taking a proactive role in Norwin's schools.
Aside from having security and cameras at the door of each district building, Lisiecki said, officers meet with school officials and the Norwin Safe Schools Committee on a regular basis to review emergency procedures.
Officers also patrol the school grounds and walk through the buildings each day, and officers undergo regular training sessions in the buildings, Lisiecki said.
“The entire school district has a good plan in effect and always make sure to notify us if they hear or see anything suspicious,” Lisiecki said.
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Kerr said, administrators have received “a handful of emails and phone calls” from concerned parents and guardians.
Administrators reassured each caller that the district is prepared to deal with an emergency situation.
“We're here for one reason, and that's to make sure we protect our children,” Kerr said.
“Every employee in the district is considered a first responder, and in the event of an emergency, each one will do whatever is necessary to protect our children.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.