It appears that no tragedy—and there have been some terrible incidents—has trapped our country into such grieving, painful emotions, the highest level of sympathy, and pondering solutions to prevent a repeat of the horrendous crime, the horrific massacre in Connecticut—since 9/11.
“We’ve had a number of these,” acknowledged Llano ISD superintendent, Dennis Hill, in reference to multiple deaths from a deranged shooter, but, “this is particularly egregious—the way it was perpetrated on elementary students so young and defenseless.”
Adam Lanza, after killing his mother, December 14, murdered 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He used a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle.
“Previously I taught on the elementary school level,” advised Llano high school teacher, Debbie Engler. “I remember vividly the excitement and love being shown by the kindergarteners I taught at Christmas.”
Mr. Hill was interviewed, in part, to learn what steps might be taken in the Llano school district to possibly stop a similar, unthinkable act from occurring here. “I’m not sure we can prevent some things,” he admitted. “Some are like a tornado.”
He did contend Llano has had a good security plan, and you can see that when you’re on the various campuses—the presence of badges for administration and visitors, two-way radios to summon help, cell phones, security cameras, asking staff to report people who may be suspicious.
Some schools may introduce armed guards, but the superintendent indicated you would need too many for too many hours.
“Sandy Hook had good security,” Hill says. “Lanza had to get through a locked door, and the staff acted quickly; if the staff had not been so professional, the tragedy, as bad as it was, may have been worse.”
“As a school, we have groups and organizations that are sending our love to those in need,” said Llano High counselor, Mary Ann Scott. “I cannot imagine the pain and angst the parents, spouses, siblings, and other loved ones are feeling at this
The Associated Press quotes Tom Sullivan on the mental health issue. Sullivan lost a son in the Aurora, Colorado shootings in July. “Mental health is a more pressing concern than gun control,” he maintains. “If we see a friend or colleague having a bad time, we need to reach out.”
Mary Ann Scott on Sandy Hook: “Americans are doing what Americans do best. When no words can possibly bring comfort, all we can offer is love—through gestures of kindness.”
Dennis Hill: “Any of us who work with kids care about kids and other people. The age involved and the innocence (of the elementary school victims) serve to place emphasis on how senseless all these killings are.”