MN Schools Highlight Preparedness After CT Shooting

Updated: 12/15/2012 12:04 PM By: Cassie Hart

The head of Minnesota's largest teacher's union is encouraging districts to review crisis response plans in light of Friday's shooting attack he calls "vicious and shocking."
Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher says Friday's shooting is profoundly disturbing. He is sending the condolences of Minnesota teachers to the victims and their families.

Minnesota Safety Law Requirements

Meanwhile, Minnesota state law requires schools to practice their plans for violent crisis situations, so students can remember what to do in a time of panic. Schools are required to have at least five lock down drills a year. The plan includes four parts: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Portions of the plan have been adapted from the U.S. Secret Service.
Dr. Gary Amoroso represents state school Administrators like Superintendents. He says participating in regular drills helps build relationships between schools and police that can save time and lives.

"We do them to make sure we are prepared, but we hope and pray we never have to have a live situation like this," said Dr. Amoroso.

Emotional Support

St. Paul Public School District has plans in place to help their students deal with the grief and confusion they may feel during this tough time.
Dr. Darlene Fry, who overseas counselors for St. Paul Schools tells KSTP, they are prepared to officer services across the district if needed.

"In situations like this, we have what we call a crisis support team", said Dr. Fry. "We have them on call for Monday when the children return to school. What we would like is if families can tell us if their kid had a restless weekend, if they were overly stressed or emotional about this event."

Dr. Fry said, "If we need to, we will have crisis response team members who are counselors, social workers and psychologists ready to go out to various schools to help with the children and their emotions so they can get back to the learning process."

Deadly History

The shooting in Connecticut is now the second deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

The deadliest was on April 16 2007, when a Virginia Tech student shot and killed 32 people as he walked through campus buildings in Blacksburg, Virginia. Friday's mass shooting killed 26 people in Connecticut.
The third deadliest happened in Killeen, Texas back in 1991. A man drove his pickup truck through a restaurant window, got out and shot and killed 23 people.
The fourth deadliest was in 1984, when an unemployed security guard killed 21 people at a Southern California McDonald's before a police sniper killed him.

For the fifth deadliest, we go back to 1966 in Austin, Texas. A former Marine Sniper shot and killed 16 students at the top of a University of Texas watch tower.