McNair students return to class as district looks for lessons learned

8:54 PM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Gunman at DeKalb elementary school

Video: Students return to McNair Academy

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  • Police showed this picture Hill took on his cell phone holding the gun he allegedly used in the shooting

DECATUR, Ga. -- Two days after a gunman terrorized a DeKalb County elementary school, students returned to class ready and even excited to learn.

The principal of Ronald McNair Discovery Learning Center said at least 95% of his students showed up on Thursday.

Brian Bolden says there were high five's and hugging competitions as he told students, "Fear is fine, just don't let it stop you from learning."

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As students tried to get back to normal, the district continued examining what went right and wrong on Tuesday, as police say 20-year old Michael Brandon Hill managed to get inside the school with an AK-47.

Dr. Garry McGiboney used to head security for Dekalb County schools. He now works for the Georgia Department of Education, helping districts improve their safety procedures.

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He says most schools know the value of having an emergency plan and practicing it often.  McGiboney says many hold some type of drill every month.

Principal Bolden says his is one of those schools.  But says after seeing one of his employees talk down the suspect, he also sees the value in formal crisis training for his office training.

Other districts might also look at DeKalb's integrated camera system.  Cameras mounted in the schools can be seen at the central and school resource officer's headquarters, as well as in the field on a laptop.

Friday morning the US Dept. of Education plans a video conference meeting with district representatives, to talk about the events at McNair.


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