Panel outlines school safety planning

By Jim Hilgen 10:58am, February 15, 2013 - Updated 10:59am, February 15, 2013
Outakes from school safety panel discussion
Teachers and other school personnel need to think of themselves as first responders.

That was the message from a panel of experts at the New Castle County Combined School Boards Breakfast.

The discussion centered on issues raised since the December school shootings in Connecticut.

Wendy Hudson of the Delaware Department of Homeland Security.

She suggests schools establish safety committees that utilize the various talents found on staff.

"Because you really never know who you have working for you. a hidden gem if you will. Prior military, prior fire service, current volunteer fireman, law enforcement, whatever the case may be, medical education. That's the type of people that you may not know you have that could be great to pull onto this team," says Hudson.

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Brian Moore oversees public safety for the Red Clay School District.

He says holding drills simulating danger scenarios does more that show a plan's strengths or weaknesses.

"When we did lock-down drills we always think about what are the kids going to think. And for the most part we want them to think that it's just something they do, it's not something uncomfortable, it's not something scary, it's not something frightening," says Moore.

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He goes on to say that his district has safety plans for every contingency, including a tsunami.

The panel also discussed the proposed gun-free zone legislation, state police efforts to prevent dangerous situations in schools and the importance of planning for every contingency.

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