Parents, schools and community members are in shock as they see news reports coming in from Connecticut, where a man in his 20s gunned down 27 people at an elementary school.
Eighteen children waved goodbye to their parents at the start of the school day. Their parents won’t get to hold them, wipe their tears away, won’t take pictures of them at prom, won’t see them at graduation. The man who killed the children was found dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Newtown, CT, Patch. A second suspect is in custody.
One woman wrote on the Greendale Patch Facebook that she was sick and heartbroken about the tragedy.
Schools across the country — including Greendale — have notification systems that enables them to quickly reach parents in such emergency situations.
Each school in the Greendale has an updated crisis management plan that addresses a variety of safety scenarios.
For example, the district has a phone chain and email notification system to reach out parents during school lockdowns.
"We have been following the news of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut," said Greendale Superintendent John Tharp in a statement. "Our hearts go out to this school community and the families of those who lost their lives, were injured, or otherwise affected by this tragedy."
While Greendale schools have secured access and visitors need to be buzzed into the buildings, typically parents and other community members are allowed to enter the building for meetings.
"In the Greendale Schools, safety is our top priority," Tharp said. "We also conduct regular drills and proactively work with our village, police, fire and other officials to plan for emergency situations should they arise. We are committed to protecting the security of our school buildings and, most importantly, the safety of all students and staff."
The Village of Greendale has an Emergency Notification System (Reverse 9-1-1), which was put in place last May. The system allows Emergency Service providers such as Police, Fire and Health Departments to quickly notify the entire Village of public safety issues. Those with landline and with registered cell phones can be quickly informed, and those with cell phones can register online.
During the Oak Creek mass shooting in the summer the Greendale Police Department provided mutual aid as part of an organization that plans for major events and practices as a group to respond when incidents like the Sikh temple shooting happen. All the assisting agencies work from the same training and off the same plan, so they can quickly join together in whatever way is needed.