Students at Hannibal Public Schools are taught in locked buildings with camera surveillance at the doors, to prevent the tragedy that took the lives of 20 students and six adults Friday, Dec. 14, in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Dr. Jill Janes, Hannibal school superintendent, reported that "all of our doors are locked."
"They all have surveillance cameras at the doors," Janes added. "There is a camera there to know who is standing at the door. They have to be buzzed into the schools."
This type of shooting could happen anywhere, such as a store, she noted.
"Sometimes things are very difficult to prevent, but we try very hard to make our schools as safe as possible.
"Should any type of danger exist," Janes said, "All of our schools have a crisis management plan for the faculty. They are trained, so if there is an intruder they know how to react."
Because of the tragedy on Friday, she said, any student who needs counseling will receive help. "Any time we have a situation like this, we always have our counselors ready to talk to the kids as needed.
"If necessary in certain situations we can call in outside counselors, but I think in a case like this we can handle it in-staff."
Asked if Hannibal students were aware of the shootings during the school day Friday, Janes said "something like this spreads fast, so I know all of our administrators knew about it, and some of the kids knew it happened.
"If parents have a child afraid to go to school they need to contact the school," Janes reported. "The counselor is prepared to talk to their children and let them know 'you are safe. You are safe at home and safe at school.'"