Duluth and Superior Schools Ensure that Students, Faculty Safe

By KBJR News 1

December 17, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 1:54 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Greg Young, whose youngest child is enrolled in Nettleton's pre–kindergarten "Headstart" program, says events like the Sandy Hook massacre are forcing him to consider a change of location for his family's education.

"We're seriously considering home schooling because there's just too much. If our 5 and 6–year–olds aren't safe, there's no point in sending them to school. We'd rather have them at home where we know [they're] safe," said Young.

And high regard to student and faculty safety was the message that all Northland schools hoped to make clear, earlier Monday.

"Our schools are the safest places for our children to be. First and foremost, their safety is in our best interest and the interest of our staff," said ISD 709 Asst. Superintendent Ed Crawford.

It was a similar message from officials with Superior's public school district. Both organizations say they work closely with city law enforcement, and are readily staffed with police liaison officers. Both districts also say they stay up–to–date on emergency response by running a minimum of 5 lockdown drills with their students.

"Every year we conduct 5 lockdown drills, and we'll continue to do that," said Crawford.

For students coping with the tragedy, Crawford said grief counselors and teachers were ready: "We certainly have the staff available for any students who have questions."

But, along with safety, Crawford and other school officials emphasized that maintaining as normal a classroom setting as possible is a top priority.

"I think it's important that they get into a routine that's familiar to them," said Crawford.

Crawford added that ISD 709 is taking this time to review safety and emergency protocol for the district. Hopefully, he said there are lessons the district could take away from the Sandy Hook tragedy.

On Wednesday, officials with the Superior School District say they're also planning on meeting to discuss their school ground security, and review any possible options for improvement.