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LR schools stress security in wake of Connecticut tragedy

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published December 17, 2012 at 9:12 a.m. Updated December 17, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.

christopher-sims-a-security-officer-at-pulaski-heights-elementary-school-checks-doors-during-a-round-monday-afternoon

Christopher Sims, a security officer at Pulaski Heights Elementary School, checks doors during a round Monday afternoon.

Security reviewed, counseling offered after Conn. shooting

The Little Rock School District renewed its focus on security and offered students counseling in the wake of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children and six staff members dead. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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— The Little Rock School District is heightening and reinforcing its security policies in the wake of the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 students and six teachers dead.

District spokesman Pam Smith said superintendent Morris Holmes asked all principals to review with security staff all emergency plans concerning "armed intruders and related procedures."

Holmes also asked principals to ensure all school entrances and bathrooms are monitored closely and that "all safety measures are fully operational." He said there should be "heightened alertness at front entrance doors" and clear enforcement of monitoring and visibility plans that place adults at stations throughout each school building, Smith said.

Smith said the district's security team also met Sunday to "develop a proactive gameplan" for handling security on the first full school day since the Newtown, Conn. tragedy and into the future.

Parents were alerted to the measures through an automated phone call and email that went out Sunday night.

"Be assured that beginning Monday, the District will be fully engaged with administrators and staff doing all in our power to keep school safe for children, teachers, staff and parents," Smith said in the letter to parents. "... We ask for your alertness, your concerns and the support that we know you will provide. We care about and love your children and our teachers and principals."

The school district has more than 120 security officers in its schools who work with about 17 Little Rock Police Department officers stationed in various facilities.

Smith said the district is also making available counselors to help teacher and staff answer questions raised by younger students about the Friday shooting.

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