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DeKalb Schools Would Notify Parents Through 'Every Means Available'

In the aftermath of Friday's horrific Connecticut shooting, Patch asked DeKalb County's school system how it would handle such an event.


As parents in Newtown, CT, and across the nation cope with Friday's horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Patch asked DeKalb County School Spokesman Jeff Dickerson how the system would notify its parents should the unthinkable ever happen here:

"We would notify the parents of the school where the incident occurred, using any and all means available to us. These include by email and by phone. You can't simply just use one method; not everyone has an email or a Twitter account, and not everyone has one or more phones.

"Naturally we would immediately shut down the school.

"On the scene itself, we'd also use every means necessary to inform the public. A tragedy of the magnitude of Friday's incident, we'd have public information staff, security personnel, and top school officials present.

"What we've seen today in Connecticut is simply horrific."

marsha middleton December 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My concern is not only centered around the communication to parents, but how they would handle the children during the event of such a horrible incident? It is my understanding that the only drill these kids practice is a fire drill, in which they all shuffle outside to the playground and wait for the emergency responders to arrive. In the case of yesterday's event, the fire drill would not have been the right reaction and we need to put pressure on the county and schools to prepare our kids for what they would need to do to stay safe and quiet in their own classrooms. The reality is that we live in a very different world these days, and our kids, schools, families and people in general, need to adjust.
JE Austin December 16, 2012 at 08:25 PM
That is certainly not true in Dekalb County school policy, however, perhaps your particular school is not following the requirements for not only fire drills (monthly, I think I remember), tornado drills, and intruder alert drills. Possibly your administrator has not relayed this info to students' parents or could possibly just check off that drills were done on paperwork data to be turned in and (maybe didn't carry through with the actual drills??). Before I retired, on 3 occasions I have experienced "intruder alert" situations and followed through with the plan put forth by the safety/security team. I must say when one is responsible for those precious children a teacher's adrenaline is running very high, prayers are billowing in one's head, and protecting those children while remaining in a calm environment is a full-blown priority in the teacher's head. What really disturbs teachers, is when they follow through, they wait quietly and with lights out in their secured classrooms.....and wait....and wait with no word via intercom as to what is happening, update, etc. Of course, not in terms children can understand but perhaps with code words for certain situations. Not knowing brews more fear...and passing time without contact is unnecessary. Teachers have always been distressed at the number of parents who give incorrect, non-functioning, or blocked phone numbers on registration forms. Parents sign those forms saying they've been truthful. Often schools can't reach them.

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