Mercer Island School District Reacts to CT Shootings

MISD Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano said school officials remain vigilant in efforts to keep students and staff safe in the wake of the Friday shooting of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

In the wake of violence that has reportedly left , Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano issued a statement sharing the MISD's perspective on the tragedy and the measures local schools take to stay safe.

Plano said there are certain precautions each school has taken to ensure the district is as prepared for something like this as possible.

In an emailed response, the MISD superintendent noted the protocols each school is prepared to take in the event of an active school shooting incident.

Here is what he had to say:

On behalf of the Mercer Island School District, our thoughts go out to the students, families, and wider community of Sandy Hook Elementary School surrounding today’s horrific tragedy and senselessloss of life. 

I join all my colleagues and educational professionals throughout the nation when I say that the safety of our students and our school communities is always at the forefront of our efforts. 

The staff of the Mercer Island School District takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that our public schools are as safe as possible.

All schools have extensive and thorough crisis response plans that address a full-range of emergency situations, including but not limited to: lock downs, fire drills and earthquake disasters. Our district and school plans have been developed in coordination with King County Emergency Management System, emergency responders and the State Department of Emergency Management.

Students and staff practice the drills with appropriate fire and police officials regularly. We have internal protocols in every school and conduct drills to ensure that students, staff and parents are as prepared as possible.

The issue of school safety today is paramount in the minds of parents, staff and the wider community as a result of this tragic news. Be assured that we remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our students and staff safe.

Our hearts are heavy with sadness and grief as the news unfolds in Newtown, CT. Please join me in keeping the people involved in today’s tragedy in your thoughts.

Dr. Gary Plano


Sarah Weinberg December 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM
It's all well and good to have plans for lockdowns, etc. once a school shooting is underway. Better is to have plans to stop these events BEFORE they get started. A locked front door, once the kids are inside, and mandatory metal detectors for all (whether or not they are "recognized") who come in would be a start. Note that no one gets into the federal office building on 2nd Ave. or the federal courthouses without such screening. Missing in all this are real discussions about two things: 1) Better identification, diagnosis, and treatment of people with mental illnesses, and 2) Real control over who gets to own which kinds of guns. (For example: why did the mother of the CT shooter own 3 apparently legally purchased guns, and why were they accessible to her son, whom she must have known was mentally unstable?)
Kris Robbs December 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I agree on number 1 above. Time and again we see how we are dealing with the "rights" of the mentally ill is not working. Having had some experience with a person who was schizophrenic, it is impossible in our present court system to insist on medical treatment or medication. All the rights are on the side of the mentally unstable. Until we deal in reality and take the rights of those of us who are stable into account we cannot stop these types of horrific events. There are usually signs that the family or friends see before the break happens. Let's take these signs seriously and maybe we can lessen the risk. This school was in locked. He broke in. Metal detectors would not have helped. As a Nation we need to start to deal with the real problem. It is not the guns any more than it is the car when a drunk driver kills someone.


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