Saturday marks the first anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. The tragedy claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 first graders.
The events on December 14, 2012 served as a harsh reminder of the importance of school safety to educators across the nation, including in Southeastern Indiana.
“Those types of instances such as Sandy Hook, make us take a step back and revaluate where we are at with our safety plans,” said Milan Superintendent Paul Ketcham.
The Milan Community School Corporation is among schools throughout the state that continue to find ways to improve school security. Ketcham indicated his most important responsibility as school superintendent is student safety.
“If you said the top three things for a school to be successful, a lot of times we worry about standardized tests but its school safety,” Ketcham said. “If kids aren’t able to come to school and feel safe, their not able to focus on their academics, and same for staff members.”
Local law enforcement agencies continue to prepare for a Sandy Hook type tragedy. The Indiana State Police have held active shooter trainings at several schools. Authorities use the in-school training for officers to familiarize themselves with the layout of local schools and also inform students, faculty and community members on the importance of having a plan.
Vigils are being held throughout the country to honor the victims of the tragedy. An event in Indianapolis will be held Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.