Fayetteville School District Stays Vigilant as Classes Resume
Sandy Hook Elementary students returned to class in Newtown, Conn., Thursday. So did Fayetteville students and while the school has made no change in their security plan, officials say tragedies like that have made them more conscious.
“There is a heightened sense of alertness certainly, given what’s taken place,” said Alan Wilbourn, spokesman for the school district. “But we felt like our job today on the first day back for the spring semester was to make it as normal a day of school as possible for the students.”
The Fayetteville School District has had an emergency plan in place since the shootings at Columbine, but school officials say the plans aren’t set in stone.
“They’re carefully coordinated with the Fayetteville Police Department and every year we work with them to see if we can pull best practices from other school districts and other police departments from around the country and things that other people have learned sometimes the hard way,” Wilbourn said.
There’s a lot of talk about the best way to protect students in schools, one of the many proposals is to arm teachers, but Wilbourn says not just any teacher should be allowed to have guns in schools.
“We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of the legislature,” he said. “You hear there are some various discussions about who would be armed. Wwe would want to make sure that is a certified trained professional not just someone who managed to go get a carry permit.”
Wilbourn says things went well Thursday but adds school officials must remain vigilant.
“You look around, there are a lot more adults around in the hall and paying attention and watching and those type of things so there is that heightened sense of alertness on the part of the staff,” he said. “For the students hopefully they felt like it was just another day of school.”
Police in Newtown say the first day of class since the tragic shooting that killed 26 people went smoothly. Classes resumed inside a renovated school, in the nearby town of Monroe.