“We send our thoughts and prayers to all of the innocent people affected by this senseless act," Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools for the Long Beach Unified School District, said regarding today's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. “Despite this shooting, however, school remains one of the safest places for children to be. We will continue our daily work with law enforcement, staff, parents and students to keep our schools safe, and we will carefully examine this tragic event to determine whether any adjustments should be made to our school safety plans.”
After such incidents, school safety officials receive a “tactical review” that helps them work with law enforcement on how to adjust their training, if warranted. LBUSD school safety officials, for instance, learned a great deal from the Columbine shooting in Colorado, and have since conducted regular drills at schools in conjunction with both the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
There is no credible threat here related to the Connecticut shooting, but school safety staff have been in close touch with local law enforcement today and remain extra vigilant.
Any student who needs to discuss their feelings about the incident may contact staff at school to receive counseling.
Safety is always the school district’s highest priority. Following are some ways that the Long Beach Unified School District works to keep its schools and students safe:
Schools practice lockdown procedures during regular drills, and staff receives training on how to deal with a variety of emergency situations, including a potential intruder on campus.
LBUSD continues to staff each of its large, comprehensive high schools with an armed police officer. Middle schools have campus security officers. Elementary school staff are trained to contact School Safety or dial 9-1-1 if appropriate. LBUSD School Safety officers and Long Beach Police Youth Services officers patrol throughout the district and can respond rapidly in case of emergency.
LBUSD also works with the LBPD on Operation Safe Passage, which allocates additional police officers to the neighborhood surrounding campuses before school and after school.
Along with these measure, one of the greatest deterrents is the thousands of eyes and ears of students, staff and parents. Anyone who knows of a potential threat to student safety should contact school personnel immediately.