Recent shootings draw attention to local school lockdown procedures

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In light of Tuesday’s shooting in California – where dozens of elementary school students were saved because of the quick action of school officials – 6 News took a look at lockdown procedures here in mid-Michigan.

It has been almost two weeks since a shooting happened outside Pattengill Academy in Lansing.

Norma Gorman’s grandson goes to the middle school, and she said when she first heard about the active shooter situation, she was terrified.

“All I could think of is oh my god is this going to be another Columbine situation again,” Gorman said. “We were totally devastated.”

Situations like that one are exactly why chief operation officer for Lansing Public Schools, Teresa Szymanski, says the district has solid lockdown procedures already in place.

“It’s important to act quickly because our mission is to protect the students, staff and even property,” Szymanski said.

As a parent, it might be tempting to rush to your child when you hear they are in danger.

However, there are several things Lansing schools do to make sure parents stay informed, like making robocalls or using social media to communicate the latest information.

“We try to discourage that but we understand that parents really are concerned and they sometimes don’t know what to do,” Szymanski said. “So maybe coming to the school is better than doing nothing in their perception, so we work with that and we work around that.”

There’s no guarantee a shooting will never happen again. But Lansing Public Schools wants to assure parents and their kids they are in good hands.

“It’s extremely scary, and I certainly understand that nobody wants to see that, but I’m confident in our policies and our procedures and our training and we do the very best we can day in and day out,” Szymanski said. “It’s great we work with the Lansing Police Department, the Lansing Fire Department, and we all train and work together.”

“The teachers and the staff were wonderful, they were fantastic, they were quick to react they were quick to take all of the children and keep them all in one spot and to make sure that they were all safe,” Gorman said.

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