Local schools say they're prepared in light of school shooting

Local schools say they're prepared in light of Conn. school shooting

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Local schools and politicians offered their thoughts after more than 20 people were killed in an elementary school shooting in Connecticut on Friday.

Gov. Bill Haslam ordered all flags at the Capitol and state office buildings to be flown at half-staff out of respect for the victims.

Dr. Jim McIntyre, the superintendent of Knox County Schools, said the district is doing everything it can to prepare for and prevent a similar tragedy in Knoxville.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the children and families of Newtown, Connecticut today as they grapple with this horrendous tragedy," Dr. McIntyre said. "The safety of our children is our highest priority in the Knox County Schools every single day. Our community should know that we work proactively and collaboratively with the outstanding law enforcement agencies in Knoxville, and with our dedicated staff to provide for the safety of our students and the security of our schools."

Blount County Schools also weighed in on the tragedy.

"The tragedy in Connecticut is a reminder to us of the importance of our mission in Blount County Schools, which is to educate students in a safe environment. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Sandy Hook community, and especially with the families of children and educators whose lives were lost today," a spokesperson said in a news release.       

The school system said had a number of ways to maintain safe schools, including, but not limited to, maintaining crisis plans with full drills, locking most of the doors at the district's schools, monitoring security cameras, and employing security guards and school resource officers.

Blount County Schools crisis management, security, safety and emergency preparedness policies are also available online.

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