HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)– The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown Connecticut, was a pivotal moment in school security.
In the months following the shooting, initial changes to school safety included things like locked door buzz-in systems and security cameras.
Now, nearly three years later, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan told 22News the next step in school safety is two-fold; one, to better spot at-risk children at a young age and two, to learn how to best handle in-school threats.
“Now it’s a matter of implementing, make sure that we are consistent and that we do it on a regular basis, that we don’t just respond to disaster that we prevent it,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan met with statewide education organizations in Holyoke Tuesday for their annual School Safety Summit, which included training by members of the United State Secret Service agency.
Massachusetts Teacher’s Association representatives said the two-day event is intended to inform the school system workers who they say get the least amount of training on the issue. “Which would be your bus drivers, your cafeteria workers, your school secretaries, your para-educators, custodians, school security officers, and often times these are the people that get the least amount of training,” Jean Fay, a paraeducator, MTA member, and Newtown, Connecticut native.
Fay also said communication and awareness continue to be critical elements to school safety.
Tuesday’s training event was funded through grant money in part from the National Education association.