The Pryor Times

December 14, 2012

Schools discuss emergency plans in wake of shooting

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR —        In the aftermath of a tragedy local school leaders speak out about prevention in our schools.

“It’s such a sad situation. I don’t have words to describe the agony the people of Newton Connecticut must be feeling,” said Don Raleigh, Pryor Public School Superintendent. This is a challenging time for all of us. Talk to your kids and tell them that schools are safe, answer their questions the best you can.”

Raleigh discusses the prevention and response plans Pryor Schools have in case of emergency.

We’re doing our best to prevent these issues but we’re in a difficult place as a society,” said Raleigh. “Our schools have lockdown systems and emergency preparedness plans.”

Raleigh says that local police, fire, and sherriff’s departments have floor plans of the school, as well as being up to speed on the Emergency Plans for each school.

“We’ve tried to build secure buildings so that when people enter a school they are met with an office, or some sort of barrier between them and the and our children,” said Raleigh. “Its difficult. We walk a fine line between protecting our children and creating a prison type setting.”

Raleigh says that each  teacher in the Pryor School system has an emergency plan. The protocal varies depending on the severity of the situation.

The school system also has a “School Messanger” system that is used to notify parents of high risk situations.

The Pryor School system also has a school resource officer, officer Cantrell. Cantrell serves as a liason between the police department and the schools, keeping everyone updated. The School Resource Officer, combined with the Emergency Preparedness plans ensure that things will be handled efficiently and according to protocol.

“The school system has a good working relationship with the local authorities including the police department, fire department, Cherokee Nation officials, Highway Patrol and Sherriff’s office. This means that someone will respond as quickly as possible.”

The Adair School system takes steps towards prevention as well. According to Adair Police Department, on duty officers are stationed at the school every morning and afternoon to make sure things are going smoothly. This also gives officers a chance to familiarize themselves with the usual parents and vehicles.

Parents are urged not to panic their children, but to remain aware of the systems in place.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragic event.” said Raleigh. “As we recover and move forward its important for everyone to be educated so we can do our best to prevent this sort of tragedy close to home.”