Mount Pleasant Schools React Following Newtown Tragedy

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The flag outside of Westlake High School is hung at half-staff Monday following Friday's tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Photo Credit: Robert Michelin

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Students and faculty of the Mount Pleasant Central School District grieved Monday for the 26 lives lost at Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School during Friday’s tragic school shooting.

"It still seems surreal to consider the tragic events of last Friday in Newtown," Superintendent Susan Guiney said in a statement.

After Monday morning began with a moment of silence at all of the schools within the district, Guiney said she met with members of the Mount Pleasant Police Department to review security procedures and safety measures at the four schools. A Mount Pleasant police officer was stationed at the Hawthorne Elementary School Monday but Guiney said it was for a coyote that was reported around the school and not as a result of the Newtown shooting.

Guiney said teachers at Hawthorne Elementary School and Columbus Elementary School were advised to not discuss the tragedy with their students. At the middle school and high school level, Guiney said teachers were asked to allow students time to ask questions and discuss the event as they needed.

The district is in the process of installing a new security system at each school in the district that will require faculty and staff to use swipe cards to gain access to the building and all guests to provide a valid license or ID that will be scanned against a national sex offender database. The security system is expected to be fully functioning by January.

"We are in the process of reviewing and modifying our procedures to address the addition of new technology accordingly," Guiney said.

This Friday, all schools in the district will participate in an emergency evacuation drill in which students will practice exiting the building in the event of an emergency.

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