TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – A shooting at a California elementary school, Monday has left many questioning just how safe schools are.
Tipp City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gretta Kumpf said in today’s world, no school community is immune, but the school does have certain policies in place to guard against an active shooter.
“It’s always alarming when you get information like that and I never want us ever to be complacent about it because none of us are immune to a tragedy of this nature,” Dr Kumpf said.
A gunman opened fire inside of a San Bernardino elementary school, Monday, killing two people- including an 8-year-old student- before turning the gun on himself, and committing suicide.
A nine-year-old student was also shot and injured in the attack.
The teacher, the gunman’s estranged wife, was the target.
The murder-suicide inside a special-needs classroom brought the issue of school safety and preparedness to the forefront.
Dr Kumpf said it’s a matter the Tipp City School district takes very seriously.
She said the school has a variety of emergency scenarios they prepare for – including what to do if an active shooter makes his or her way inside the school.
Certain precautionary protocols are also in place – including a “buzz-in” system where visitors are first vetted before they’re allowed to enter the schools.
She said the schools works closely with the local police department to go through various scenarios to ensure children, teachers, and staff are prepared for the worst-case scenario and know what do to.
“We do practice lock-downs and we practice evacuations,” Dr Kumpf said.
“We don’t want to alarm our students but it’s much like fire drills, it’s an important part of trying to be as prepared as possible.”
Dr Kumpf said it’s hard for any school to completely eliminate the possibility of an active shooter, but they can safeguard against it.
When it comes to talk to children about the shooting, child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Andrew Khavari of Kettering Behavioral Medicine Center said, have an age-appropriate conversation and assure them they’re safe.
But sometimes, he said, too much information can do more harm than good.
“Especially with younger kids, kids in preschool, first, second or third grade, you may not want to go into great, gory detail,” Dr Khavari said.
“They may have heard about it but just reassure them that, ‘You are fine; Your school is safe’. That way, they’re able to comprehend it at their age.”