In the wake of Friday morning's shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown Connecticut, the Culver City Unified School District is extending its sympathies to the families of those affected by the tragedy.
Speaking to Patch by telephone, CCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Leslie Lockhart said, "The Culver City Unified School District is deeply saddened by the news of this horrible tragedy and first and foremost our thoughts go out to the famililes. It's horrible that we have to think about something like this ever affecting our children."
Lockhart said CCUSD has already taken steps to ensure the safety of all the district's students, saying that CCUSD's Security Supervisor Ted Yant has already headed out with some of the schools' security officers to several of the district's elementary schools to do walkthroughs and to ensure that everyone is okay.
"We also do everything we possibly can [on a regular basis] to keep our children safe and secure," Lockhart said. "We continually make sure we review our protocols. We want to make sure our kids are safe."
Lockhart also praised the Culver City Police Department saying they will be increasing their presence at all schools at dismissial time this afternoon, although she noted that it's unclear how many of the children are aware of what happened in Connecticut this morning.
"Hopefully most of them will hear about what happened when they get home from school, which is the best thing for kids - to find out from their families," Lockhart said, adding that the district has been receiving calls from parents throughout the morning to make sure everything is okay. "It's a totally understandable response."
In addition, Lockhart said all CCUSD schools have lowered their flags to half mast as per President Barack Obama's request.
CCUSD Board Member Kathy Paspaplis who grew up in Stanford, CT also spoke to Patch via telephone and called the shooting "horrific. "This is total insanity," she said.
Paspalis recalled a 1996 school shooting in Scotland that left 15 kids dead and noted that as a result the UK responded with a handgun ban.
"We don't yet have the political will to address these shootings [in the US]," she said. "But the solution is simple. This country needs to get real on gun control."