How school safety measures have changed in wake of Sandy Hook shooting

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 4:58 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - It has been 10 years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfolded.

In the years since, school districts all over the state have made changes and upgrades to security.

Safety measures vary from district to district.

Hartford Public Schools does crisis drills quarterly.

In addition to that, each school building has at least two school security officers. If it’s a larger building, there are more school security officers.

In addition to cameras and security wands, something the district also takes seriously is having one entry point for all schools.

Eyewitness News spoke with a district official Wednesday about how security at schools has evolved since the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

He spoke about the importance of training.

“I can tell you one of the things that’s been added to our security plan in the wake of Sandy Hook and other shootings that we have seen across the country is active alas training. And so that’s an active threat training system we provide for all of our building leaders all of our teachers so that they’re prepared and as comfortable as possible to be able to act appropriately in the event of the most tragic circumstances like an active shooting in our buildings,” said Jesse Sugarman with Hartford Public Schools.

Some educators say the potential for a threat is always in the back of their head.

“I feel like our district has really made some really great strides in trying to make sure teachers feel protected and safe within the classrooms,” said Gail Jorden, President of the Bloomfield Teachers Association.

Jorden is an Academic Interventionist with Bloomfield Public Schools. She vividly remembers hearing about the tragedy in Sandy Hook exactly 10 years ago.

“So whenever you hear that sound that an all call is going to happen, just innately in my bones I just like freeze for a second because you just never know what that call is going to be,” Jorden said.

Safety is always on her mind.

“You just have to always be prepared, no matter what and you always have to have a plan in mind as a what if unfortunately in this day and age. What if, where would I go. Where would I have my students go, in order to protect them,” said Jorden.

Over in Hartford, we’re getting a closer look at how security has expanded at schools over the years.

“Every building has two school security officers in it. That will increase based off the number of people that are in that building but that’s our baseline,” Sugarman said.

Each school has one entry point.

When you arrive at any of the schools in Hartford, all of the doors are locked until you’re buzzed in to get inside.

Once you’re buzzed into the building, you’re required to show your license to school security.

As long as no red flags are raised through the school’s Raptor system, you’ll be given a visitor ID which means you can enter the building.

Schools also implement crisis drills and active threat training.

Metal detectors have been installed at two Hartford high schools.

Metal detectors can also be moved to other buildings as part of a random security screening process.

Staff have also done audits of security equipment to make sure everything works properly.

How school security has changed after Sandy Hook shooting