As Sandy Hook survivors return to class, Marietta teachers discuss safety

6:48 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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MARIETTA, Ga. - On the day survivors of the Connecticut school massacre returned to class, teachers at Marietta High School reviewed their plan to deal with an armed intruder.

The gathering was planned before the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but the Connecticut shooting part of the discussion as Marietta teachers prepare to return from their winter break.

English teacher Jennifer Santi was among those who met with Marietta Police to review the school's emergency plan.

"Schools and churches should be hallowed ground, and it's a shame they're not," said Santi. "At the same time, I feel reassured with evil in the world we're doing the best we can."

Marietta police reminded teachers that their best course of action if an armed intruder enters their school is to lock their classroom and barricade the door. They're to extinguish the lights and help hide students, hoping the intruder will pass by thinking the room is empty.

During Thursday's one hour safety seminar, teachers watched a video produced by the Department of Homeland Security that focuses on reacting to an armed intruder. Police discussed the mindset of anyone bent on harming children inside of a school.

"They're not coming to have a conversation," said Officer Adam Gravett. "They're there to kill."

Marietta schools have five armed school resource officers. Two of them are inside of Marietta High School. They're trained to confront danger.

"Our job is to take out the threat," said Officer Gravett. "We're here to stop that person."

Teachers are reminded that confrontation is not their job.

Teachers will put themselves in the line of fire," said Principal Leigh Colburn. "That could increase the casualty count, and you have to help them understand their role."

Later this month, Marietta Police will conduct a drill at Marietta High to test the school's reaction to an emergency.

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