Local School Safety Procedures

RENO, Nev. -- In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, the Washoe County School District is re-evaluating the safety projects already in place. Their number one priority is still the safety of the staff and students.

School is supposed to be a safe haven for learning. The goal of the Washoe County School District is to keep the bad guys out.

The shootings in Newtown came very close to home for Victoria Ispisua. She teaches second grade at Mount Rose Elementary, but also has a son in the first grade.

"It is scary, but we need to remind our kids that when they're here, everyone in this building is going to protect them," she said. "We talked about the drills that we do and practice and the reasons why we practice them so if something like [Sandy Hook] were to happen, they already know what to do."

Codes red, yellow and blue are practiced about once a month. Code red indicates danger on campus, code yellow means school is still underway, but students aren't allowed to leave the classroom and code blue shows medical attention needed.

"People will come around and pound on the doors. The kids know to ignore that and to stay quite. Then, we wait for a police officer or a school official who has a key to come in and let us know the drill has ended," Ispisua said.

Teachers, students and staff are trained at the beginning of the school year on how to handle situations like Sandy Hook.

"We start off the first week with a drill and the school police are actually here during those drills so they come and make sure we're doing everything right," Krissy Brown, principle said.

By the 2013-2014 school year, the WCSD plans to install a camera and locking system at all the schools in the county.

"If the parent or a visitor comes into the school, they have to come in and push the buzzard," Mike Mieras, WCSD Police said. "The office identifies who they are and then they release the lock for them to come in."

Installing doors the lock from the inside and building fences around the school perimeters are in the works, but some parents may fear that is not enough.

"I think it is kind of scary. But I also feel like we're in a very safe environment and that would never happen to us, but if it did no one would be harmed," Arden Pullin, sixth grade student said.

Officer Mieras says everyone has a responsibility to keep schools safe.

"The community, the staff, the students...it's a whole community effort in order to keep our schools as safe as possible," he said.

School Police say the fences are mostly paid for with rollover bond funds and police grants are helping pay for cameras and better locks.


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