Newtown parents head to National School Safety Conference - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Newtown parents head to National School Safety Conference

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A moment of silence was held for the victims of the Newtown school shooting to start the National School Safety Conference. A moment of silence was held for the victims of the Newtown school shooting to start the National School Safety Conference.
School resource officers from California sat down with Eyewitness News where they stated that Newtown changed everything. School resource officers from California sat down with Eyewitness News where they stated that Newtown changed everything.
Michele Gay and the Poseys learn about some of the new technology helping keep kids safe. Michele Gay and the Poseys learn about some of the new technology helping keep kids safe.
LAS VEGAS, NV (WFSB) -

As schools across the country get back into session, many are taking a closer look at security in the wake of the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Channel 3 New Haven Bureau Chief Robert Goulston attended the National School Safety Conference in Las Vegas over the summer to see how the rest of the country is handling the challenge.

Trying to figure out how much security is needed at schools is the question on parent's minds, especially for Michele Gay.

Her daughter Josephine, who everyone called Joey, died inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in the second-worst mass-shooting in United States history.

Even before she received the devastating news, she said it was a sickening realization that the security plan in place at the school was not enough.

"I don't know what happened in the building," she said. "I didn't know my daughter was gone. I didn't know anyone had been killed. I knew somebody had gotten into the building with a gun. That's an access issue. That's a security issue."

Gay and fellow Sandy Hook mom Carly Posey, whose son survived the shooting, were at the conference as they began a project designed to empower parents who want safer schools.

At the conference they observed a demonstration by a company that installs floor-mounted locks that would keep the door secure even if someone broke through the glass.

"It's simple things sometimes that add up to multiple layers of defense that protect our children," Gay said.

There is also new technology that would make glass inside classrooms stronger, prompting schools to see if they could afford stronger glass for their entry ways.

There are also ideas being tossed around about obtaining bulletproof clipboards and whiteboards, as well as arming teachers with Tasers.

And while Gay said she feels some of the ideas may go too far, she said she knows more can be done.

"For me, it was clear in the parking lot that day," she said. "We were waiting for my children to be evacuated. We had a school security issue. That is what we need to address."

While the National School Security Conference is held every year, this year saw a significant increase in attendance in years past.

For the first time, conference organizers said, there were more school officials than law enforcement.

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