Cherokee superintendent talks safety after shooting
by staff reports
December 15, 2012 12:05 AM | 3171 views | 4 4 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo
Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo
In the wake of the Friday shootings at a Connecticut elementary school that took the lives of 26 people, including 20 children, Cherokee County School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo issued a statement informing residents of policies the school district has in place to prevent a similar tragic event and ensure safety for all staff, teachers and students. It is as follows:

“On behalf of the Cherokee County School District, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo extends his heartfelt condolences to the community of Newtown, Conn., following this morning’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This was a horrific crime committed against the students, families and staff of that school; and, one which is simply indescribable in terms of an unwarranted wrong perpetrated against others.

The Cherokee County School District’s top priority is that all students have a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning. School District safety and security plans are continuously reviewed and updated to ensure this priority is met.

All CCSD schools have safety plans that are annually updated, and all meet or exceed State requirements and have been approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

All CCSD schools have policies requiring that all exterior doors be locked at all times except those doors that provide direct access to the front office; all practices in this regard adhere to local and State fire codes.

All CCSD have Visitor Control policies that require all adults, including staff and visitors, (to) wear ID badges at all times while on campus; all visitors are required by State law to check in at the Front Office, and all traffic into the building is monitored by staff.

All CCSD schools have intrusion alarm systems that are monitored 24 hours a day.

All CCSD middle and high schools and more than half of all elementary schools, including all new construction, have digital, closed-circuit camera systems.

All CCSD schools are served by the CCSD Police Department, which provides POST-certified, armed officers for each Innovation Zone.

All CCSD schools, including administrators, teachers, support staff and students annually practice Code Red drills that include response to an intruder/suspicious person on campus.

The School District maintains a District Emergency Response Team and Plan, which includes a student-parent/guardian reunification plan and regular drills at the reunification site.”
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December 15, 2012
The door locking policy is actually up to each individual school principal. He states this policy as if it were an obvious given, but that's not the case. Some schools have NOT had locked external doors in the past because it was an inconvenience to teachers moving between different areas of the school. And when asked about it, when inquiring months ago, the police department, the school district, and the school principal all confirmed that it is up to the principal.

I encourage every parent to not assume the doors are locked. Ask your principal about the school policy and test the doors frequently.
December 22, 2012
As I understand it, in Connecticut, the doors were locked and the murderer shot the doors open. Locked doors are no guarantee.
indian warrior
December 15, 2012
He is wrong, I work at a school where there are so many, many ways to walk into the school unseen and do multiple wrongs! The students and staff are not safe. Something needs to be done!
December 17, 2012
I hope that each school begins to be required to lock ALL doors ex. classroom doors and outside doors. I believe their should be a security check before even being allowed inside the schools. (Mainly only allowing parents or guardians with I. D. inside) I believe the schools should have metal detectors and security ... like at the court house. I have never felt comfortable with people being able to walk in the school to sign theirselves in on the computer and no one checking who It was or where they are going or why they are inside the school. I truly think that anyone could walk right past the office without the staff knowing. (Cherokee county schools)
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