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Valley schools stress safety in wake of CT shooting

By Laura Yanez, News Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Dec 15 2012 03:14:34 AM CST
PALM DESERT, Calif. -

"My gut reaction is rage, that's what I feel with this. It's terrible," said Jeff Kaye, the Director of Security and Safety Services for the Desert Sands Unified School District.

With many questions left unanswered as to what led to Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, killing 20 children, six adults, and the shooter, he says, "The community suffers. The whole country is suffering and everybody is in a state of panic."

"You worry about the safety of our school children," said David Sanchez, a retired school teacher.

"They should feel safe at school," said Vanessa Vogt.

Kaye warns, unfortunately, one possibility remains.

"If a bad guy is going to get into your school, he's going to," he said.

If the bad guy does, the key is making sure school faculty and administrators are proactive and prepared.

"We train. We train a lot. We have standardized plans for lockdowns for active shooting. We train with law enforcement and we train our school personnel on what to do if this happens," said Kaye.
     
He is the author of the book "School Emergency Management: A Practical Approach to Implementation," but says senseless and tragic acts like the shooting can't always be foreseen in the pages.

"We hope for the best and we train for the worst," said Kaye.

"I'm sure every school in the Coachella Valley is doing our very best to keep kids safe and cared for," said Dave Fulton, the founder of Desert Christian Academy.

DSUSD says the nation's education system has to recover from this and find ways to bring comfort to parents and students.

"It's up to us to talk to our kids. Say, 'What are you feeling?' Rebuilding is the biggest thing," said Kaye.

DSUSD reassures in the wake of the tragedy, the safe haven of a classroom stands firm.

"You're safe at our schools. Let us worry about your safety and you worry about getting your education," said Kaye.