Newtown lieutenant and school superintendent speak at school safety conference
School officials, educators and police officers from across Michigan met Wednesday in Mt. Pleasant to focus on keeping kids safe.
It was the second day of a three day conference and officials from Newtown, Connecticut were the featured speakers at the event.
When Newtown school superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson first heard the news about the school shooting, she, like many others, was in shock.
â??Then when the reality hits that this horrible, unthinkable thing happened in such a beautiful little primary school, it's overwhelming,â?? said Dr. Robinson.
The relationship between Newtown schools and law enforcement helped not only on that tragic December day, but in the months following the shooting.
â??The fact that we had done so many things together with the chief of police, the captain of the police department; we know them... we could talk to them formally not just that day but for the last six months. That's been a very valuable relationship,â?? said Dr. Robinson.
For that very reason Dr. Robinson and Lieutenant Richard Robinson traveled to Mt. Pleasant to share their message.
â??There are some lessons that can be learned in what law enforcement does and how we do them but in general it's preparation; making sure that you have everything set before hand so that when an incident occurs you go right to that playbook, and that's what we really want to share with everybody,â?? said Lieutenant Richard Robinson, Newtown Department of Police Services.
School Safety Consultant Ken Trump is scheduled to speak on Thursday and advises schools to practice drills at all times of the school day.
â??We're going to be stressing taking a look at not only doing drills but diversifying your drills. Don't do anything that's convenient for the adults at 9-10 in the morning but to do it at lunch time where it's confusion and chaos,â?? said Trump.
Preparing for a school emergency is critical but making children comfortable in their classroom is something officials are keeping in mind.
â??We still want children to be children. We don't want to have them feel they must be in fortresses. We want them to enjoy their childhood,â?? said Dr. Robinson.
The conference is sponsored by Schools Educators and Police Liaison Association (SEPLA), a non-profit organization.