How safe are our schools? - FOX 13 News

How safe are our schools?

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Schools and law enforcement say they can only practice, run drills, and have procedures in place for a violent situation like what happened in Newton, Connecticut.

A gunman opened fire at an elementary school there, massacring 26 people, including 20 children.

It has schools here taking a second look at their security. Here locally, many of our schools have fences around them, with controlled access gates.

That means there is only one way into a school, through the main office.

Many of our schools also have buzzers, that office staff must buzz someone in at the front door before they can enter.

But the case in Connecticut was quite different, because the shooter was familiar to the school. Investigators say his mother was a Kindergarten teacher at the school, so if he came to the school, it may not have caused anyone to be alarmed.

On Friday, as soon as news broke of the shootings, Hillsborough County took action. Even though the shooting was hundreds of miles away, Hillsborough school staff contacted all of their schools. They let them know what was going on and asked them to review all safety procedures with their staff.

Every department is also watching the investigation very closely. They want to see if there is anything they can learn from what happened in Connecticut.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office also sent deputies to most elementary schools this afternoon. They wanted to increase visibility.

Statistics still show schools are one of the safest places a child can be. School-associated deaths have dropped over the years. Last year, it was the lowest in two decades

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