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Anne Arundel Police Heighten School Security After Connecticut Shooting

A gunman reportedly shot and killed 27 people at an elementary school in Connecticut.

UPDATE (4:10 p.m.)—In the wake of news that a gunman reportedly shot and killed 27 people at an elementary school in Connecticut, Anne Arundel County police boosted security at all public schools Friday afternoon prior to dismissal.

According to Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) spokesman Bob Mosier, a county police officer was stationed at every school during dismissal. He also said security will remain heightened as children arrive at their schools Monday morning.

The shooting occurred Friday morning in Newtown, CT.

Newtown Patch is on the scene near the school, providing live updates and breaking news.

According to Newtown Patch, parents of children who were killed during the shooting are still being notified by public officials and emergency personnel.

In a statement released by AACPS (also attached to this article as a PDF):

We have invested heavily in technology such as video intercom systems at main entrances to schools, and in electronic visitor tracking systems, which allow us to detect registered sex offenders who may try to gain access.

Front office staff must buzz in visitors to our school buildings. At our newest schools, there is a double-door system that prevents direct access from the front door to hallways where classrooms are located.

All of our schools run periodic emergency drills to familiarize students and staff with what to do in a variety of situations ranging from tornadoes to active shooters in buildings. This month’s drill, ironically, focused on an active shooter in the building. ...

[P]arents should monitor the reaction of their children to these events, as well as the activities of their children. Please be sensitive to the news coverage, as some of it may be graphic and disturbing.

It is parents who are best able to gauge the moods and reactions of their children to circumstances such as these. Please know that our school counseling staffs are ready and prepared to talk to any student or parent who has a need to discuss their feelings.

For the latest update on the Connecticut incident, see Newtown Patch.

In President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation Friday afternoon, he said, “Our hearts are broken today.”

Gov. Martin O'Malley released a statement:

“The loss of innocent lives today in the shootings in Connecticut are tragic beyond words. Katie and I send our thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones in this heartbreaking tragedy.

"It's incomprehensible to even attempt to understand the pain these families are feeling today, especially the speechless pain of losing a child. We encourage everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers."

lorrie short December 14, 2012 at 09:02 PM
A phone call from the superintendent doens't really comfort a parent to know how the school plans to keep the children safe during the school day.
Mary Vecellio December 15, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Something has to be DONE about stricter gun laws, whether the NRA likes it or not. President Obama said this evening that something has to be done, regardless of political parties and he is right!
My Opinion December 15, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Do you think stricter gun laws would keep weapons out of the hands of criminals? Aren't drugs illegal too, but people still find ways to buy and sell them don't they? The solution is not stricter gun laws, as law-abiding gun owners properly adhere to the process, there are those who will not adhere to that same process and still wind up with the product.
Malemute9 December 15, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Parents who are looking for resources for talking to your kids about todays shooting should go to the Fred Rogers Institute website. The Institute, started in memory of Mr. Rogers (PBS host of Mr Rogers Neighborhood) has some excellent tips for talking to your kids about tragic violent events like this. Hug your kids and pray for those who are lost.
Karen Sutton December 15, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Okay Mary, let's say we "ban all guns". Do you really believe the bad people are going to say "oh no, we can't use guns because they've been banned"? Lets be real....bad people with bad intentions can ALWAYS find guns and there are those that will sell them to them. Now lets say YOUR 6 year old is in a school and someone comes in with a guy (just like in Conn.). I don't know about you, but I would feel much better knowing that there were teachers and administrators there that knew how to handle a gun and had them to protection our precious children. IF someone could and would have done that in Conn. the death toll could have been much lower. Guns don't kill....people do! Taking guns away from people also violates the 2nd Amendment. Do you want to change the Constitution too?
JENNA ONEAL December 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Why can we not have an officer at EVERY school, EVERY day? That would be a better use of resources than having them shoot radar for someone going 10 miles over the limit!!
Sue Crandall December 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
With 315 million people in the country you're bound to have crazies. Yep, life ain't fair,especially when such tiny innocent souls are snatched at Christmas, leaving moms and dads with hearts shredded by grief, but abrogating the Second Amendment aint gonna level the playing field. Matt is spot on, criminals always have guns somehow. Heck, even local HS students have been know to "carry" illegally. Are these duly registered pieces ? I think not. There is only one sure fire way to lower body counts in these horrific situations, one proven to work above everything else. Had just one person on scene been carrying a gun, there might have been loss of life, which is never acceptable, but the gunman would have been stopped sooner, perhaps before he got as far as the kindergarten class. The same goes for the mall shooter in Colorado. Had either one of these mental defectives thought they were facing gunfire themselves, who knows if either massacre would have been carried out. Guns in themselves aren't lethal, you have to add people to make them a murder weapon.
TC December 15, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Karen, I'm Pro responsible gun ownership as well, however, I don't agree that arming teachers or administrators is the right move. School Resource Officers should be mandatory in EVERY school to protect our children as well as entry procedures that prevent people from just walking in off the street. Notice I used the plural form of Officers; meaning more than one assigned to each school. I've always said that a nation that does not value Teachers and Cops (and pay them what they deserve) doesn't value its most important resources. Guns, banning or increasing the carrying of, isn't the answer, it's in better management, training, and allocation of resources. Once we realize what our priorities are we can better allocate finances to cover and prevent these types of incidents from happening as often. You'll never stop them all, but the effort should be to reduce them.
Pam December 15, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The guns were LEGALLY registered to the MOM. Gun laws would not of stopped this pyscho.
Zoe Cat December 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM
And then when a speeding car plows into a school bus killing 20 children you will whine about why weren't the police catching the speeders.
Chris W December 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Because speeders feed the coffers!
Kelly Chuckas December 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Kelly How about a two door system ? The first door would have a metal detector and when that goes off the staff could call police and not buzz the offender into the school. A camera would be good to identify the persons involved. Or the first door could lock behind them trapping the person in the foyer. I would suggest bullet proof glass on both doors so the offender could not shoot themselves in or out. It may seem extreme but we have to protect the schools.
Chris W December 15, 2012 at 09:55 PM
It has been reported on NBC that he attempted to buy a gun earlier in the week, but was not able to. Our gun laws are effective at what they are designed to do which is preventing someone from buying a weapon in the heat of the moment and using it. You cannot always prevent violence by an individual who is determined to do someone harm. In this case he took wepons he was not authorized to possess. Stricter gun laws would not have changed the outcome here.
John December 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Our gun laws actually worked. He tried to buy a gun the Tuesday before the shooting at Dicks Sporting Goods but was turned away.
TC December 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Spot on Kelly, unfortunately in this case it probably wouldn't have had any deterrent effect because his Mom is/was an employee of the school system, any of the administrators or Secretaries that would have monitored the doors would have probably seen him on the video monitor and simply reasoned "oh, that's Ms. Lanza's son" and buzzed him in...
Stephen Evans December 16, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I wait at school every day for my 2 children and I saw no police officer stationed anywhere on premises. Was he undercover?
Lisa Rader Hall December 17, 2012 at 01:07 PM
AACPS increases security only after a tragedy the elementary should have a RSO officer just like the high and middle schools
Mandy McNeely December 17, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Have to say I like this idea, although I'm not sure where the funding for this would come from. It should stop anyone coming into the school if they are carrying. One thing, while I thank our local officers for being parked outside the school this morning, I'm really not sure of the purpose for showing extra security and I would really rather my child walk into school thinking it a safe place (which if you look at statistics it is) and not be surrounded by police, security or guns!!!!
bucky beaver December 17, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Eliminate minority on minority violence, gang violence, and violence fueled by alcohol, pills and psychotropic big pharma poison and there’s not much gun violence left to talk about. Eliminate minority on minority violence and gang violence and leave alcohol in the equation and theres still going to be an excess level of violence. Want to reduce violence, not just gun violence but all violence in a meaningful way? Don’t disarm the general public, just get rid of the booze. The stats don’t lie. In places where booze is freely available violence soars. In places where concealed carry is allowed violence decreases. We have 100 years of stats to prove it and this sad incident in CT does change any of that.
bucky beaver December 17, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Two signs on the front of a school. One reads "Gun Free Zone....No one is armed", second sign reads "School Personel is Armed....Any attempts to harm our children Will Be Met With Lethal Force!". Which one would be the most effective?

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