Mehlville Schools Superintendent Reacts to Connecticut Shooting
Superintendent Eric Knost said schools have several safety measures to deter violence, including shootings.
In the aftermath of the devastating shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the Mehlville School District reiterated its commitment to keep children safe through crime deterrents and a nurturing environment.
"You hope and pray you can avoid any such occurrence," said Superintendent Eric Knost Friday. "Being prepared is, I think, the No. 1 deterrent."
Knost named several school safety measures—including the schools' buzzer systems, intruder drills, police officers at schools, doors that lock from the inside and overall vigilance by teachers and staff—as the major deterrents the district has to help prevent violent acts, including shootings.
Each school is equipped with a buzzer system to regulate visitors, a system Knost said was good but not fool-proof. Beyond deterring violence, Knost said building a caring, nurturing environment for students is the best way to prevent events like the Connecticut shooting.
"We think in terms of keeping kids safe," which includes making children feel cared for, Knost said.
"It's hard to come to grips with something so horrible."
Update: Knost released the following statement online:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the school and community in Connecticut where a horrible tragedy occurred today. Such incidents are our worst nightmares, which is exactly why we keep student and staff safety as our number one priority. Tragedies also cause us to reflect on our practices and you can be assured we will make every effort to further provide our students with a safe and nurturing environment.
We encourage parents to utilize their best judgment as to how this tragedy is discussed within your homes. Children will have questions and their questions need to be addressed. Our kids should be reminded they are surrounded by many who strive to give them the love and protection they need. Unfortunately, some tragedies in life just cannot be explained.
We do recommend avoiding too much television exposure of this topic and please know our professional staff will be ready to tend to any worries or concerns expressed by our students.
There’s no better time than today to hug and be thankful for our children. In doing so, let’s not forget those affected by today’s tragedy.
FOR MORE MEHLVILLE-OAKVILLE COVERAGE OF THE SHOOTINGS: