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Cobb Schools Reinforce Security Plans

Law enforcement agencies are assisting with patrols in the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings.

Cobb County School District officials spent a busy weekend requesting law enforcement assistance and briefing school principals, teachers and staff about security measures in the wake of Friday's deadly school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

On Monday, Cobb County police and law enforcement from other Cobb cities made safety rounds at schools.

"Our precinct patrol officers are driving by all schools in their assigned beats," Cobb Police Department Spokesman Officer Michael Bowman told Patch.

Cobb schools spokesman Doug Goodwin said the district has a 44-member full-time security staff that works out of high schools and middle schools but not elementary schools for "resource" reasons.

He said the extra police patrols will continue on an indefinite basis.

"We don't have a timetable, but it certainly will remain in effect for now," said Goodwin, adding that law enforcement agencies from Cobb County and various municipalities are providing "full cooperation."

Cobb schools are in session through Thursday and will resume on Jan. 8 after the holiday break.

Goodwin said Cobb school officials have been updating school staff about existing security procedures. At elementary schools, for example, he said staff were making sure that electronic access control systems were in place.

"We're well-trained in how these procedures are to go forth," he said.

Various principals sent out messages over the weekend with security information and to reassure parents.

Wrote John Kelly, Sprayberry High School principal: "We review our emergency preparedness plans and practice emergency drills on a regular basis, and the recent tragedy serves as a reminder of how important it is that we continue to do so."

Cheryl Mauldin, principal of Kincaid Elementary School, offered these thoughts to her school community:

"We have always focused on positive things that go on and try to stay away from the negative. Each time that an event like this takes place we must keep in mind that it is isolated and strive to learn things we can put in place at Kincaid to keep us safe.

"As a proactive measure to assure awareness, the school recently deployed a new state of the art surveillance system. This system has monitor capability covering the entire property, inside and out. Additionally, teachers and parents are vigilant to report persons on the property without a security badge. Our substitute teacher staff is a an asset as most are former teaching professionals expert in school policies and procedures. We want you to know that safety of your child is our highest priority, and that we will learn as much as possible from every tragic event to put more measures in place for the safety of all.

"This is a time of year when many parents will be coming to our school and we ask that you also help us. If you see something that does not look right please let us know and we will take care of it. Please keep the families that were involved in your thought and prayers. Hug your child and let them know how special that they are to you."

Marlene Mitchell December 18, 2012 at 02:59 PM
None of this would have saved the horror of last friday. In fact their security system failed due to a couple of 9mm rounds placed into the glass. Locks were of no use. The kids and staff were nothing more than sitting ducks because they had nothing to defend themselves with. When seconds count the police are minutes away. Go ahead, be prepared on your "Procedures". You can see how well they worked for this elementary school!
Fed Up December 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
The name of the town could have easily been "Marietta, GA" and not "Newtown, CT." Our should not be a target for the mentally unbalanced, and our sweet precious ones should not be seen as sitting ducks. The time has come for each school to have at least one "Safety Marshall" similar to how airplanes have an "Air Marshall." This can be a teacher, admin, staff, custodian - someone at the school readily available who has specialized training and annual certification to be able to handle an issue until law enforcement arrives. The time has come - It's our responsibility to protect our most precious resources!
Bill sparks December 19, 2012 at 02:30 AM
People are now saying teachers need to be armed. Really, saying more guns Is the answer is equivalent to a doctor telling a smoking-related cancer patient that they need more tar.
Marlene Mitchell December 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Bill, Stick your head in the sand if that is what makes you feel better. You did notice that the guy didn't go to a police station and try to kill them....No? You think he was sane enough to think that they might fire back?? I don't want the schools to go unprotected any longer because of fools like you. The "Air Marshall" idea is a smart one. I'd go one step further and require a "continuing education" with monthly range time to keep proficient. We aren't talking about someone swaggering around the halls looking like Rambo or Texas Pete but more understated. I have (s)kin in this game....a grandson who will be entering Kindergarten soon and I don't want him in a school that thinks a locked door will keep someone out. Come on Bill, tell me YOUR plan to keep my grandson safe. We know that banning guns or stricter gun laws won't do the trick because the bad guys don't have legal weapons. The guy in China sliced 22 kids with a knife....goin' outlaw those too?? But I bet penalizing the law abiding citizen with more useless gun laws will be your "go to" position....and that is the reason we are in such a mess. I'm all ears....tell me your plan because a blind pig sometimes find that truffle and I am willing to listen to all ideas.
Bill sparks December 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Well Grandpa, calling people "fools" and "pigs" will certainly fix the problem for your dear grandson. I have skin in the game because I have two daughters in middle and high schools. My solution is to hire military vets for protection. The money can be taken from our over-funded military budget. Military vets know how to fire weapons better than most teachers. How about tha grandpa? Is that enough skin in the game and enough of a plan for you? Teachers are there to teach-not play GI Joe.

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