School leaders in Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire react to Connecticut school massacre
Updated: December 18, 2012 7:22PM
BUFFALO GROVE — Reacting to Friday’s school massacre in Connecticut, officials at school districts in Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire all reported that their schools were as safe as they could be.
“You can’t put the buildings totally on lock down,” said Marc Tepper, School Board president at Kildeer-Countryside Elementary District 96. “You can’t make them prisons.”
But many educators said there is one important lesson to take home this weekend: If it could happen in Newton, it could happen in Buffalo Grove or Lincolnshire. Newton is a far-flung suburb of New York City, the home of 27,560, according to the 2010 U.S. census..
“This is the unimaginable,” said Venitia Miles, director of communications for Township High School District 214.
She added that district officials remain confident in the crisis-management plans they have for each of their buildings, including Buffalo Grove High School.
“That’s not going to change,” she said.
At District 96, spokeswoman Betsy Fresen said teachers and counselors did not break the news to their students. At Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102, superintendent Theresa Dunkin said her teachers had been determining what, if anything, to say in their classrooms.
“You make sure everybody is getting the comfort they need,” she said.
The tragic murders, which reportedly took the lives of 20 school children and six adults, certainly changed the Friday-morning plans in the world of education.
Ben Yomtoob, a member of Lincolnshire-Prairie View Elementary District 103’s School Board, said he was at work when he saw the breaking-news alert.
“This has just happened, we’re all still digesting it,” he said. “Clearly, this is the kind of thing that you have to take a look at, once all the facts are out.”
Tepper said that districts needed to be wary of knee-jerking too far on the side of caution, which could eventually create an environment that threatens children.
“We’re not about ready to put metal detectors in the front doors, or bulletproof glass,” he said.
But Dunkin added that all the educators she knew kept a constant watch for appropriate new security measures.
“We’ll glean from this,” she said. “Everybody, in the last decade or two, has gotten more vigilant. We’ll continue to have it front and center, every year.
“Nobody’s ever done, in this area.”