Tuscumbia Schools Superintendent Mary Kate Smith heard the news of today’s school shooting in Connecticut while she was watching the play rehearsal of her own district’s young elementary students.
“We were watching the G.W. Trenholm children practicing for their program when all this was unfolding and we were just stunned, speechless,” she said. “This kind of thing is unimaginable.”
Latest reports now say 20 students died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which is about 60 miles northeast of New York City. The gunman blasted his way through the building as young students cowered helplessly in classrooms while their teachers and classmates were shot.
The attack, coming less than two weeks before Christmas, was the nation’s second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
The gunman killed himself and another person was found dead at a second scene, leading to a total toll of 28, authorities said.
The Tuscumbia system uses a buzzer entry system in all schools except the high school. Today’s events have educators re-evaluating their safety practices.
“We’re certainly taking a long hard look at how well we protect our students,” Smith said. “We’ll be looking at what safety measures we took five years that need to be enhanced. We have good camera systems in place, too, but we’ve got to make sure we’re doing enough to keep these babies safe.”