Guam – Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT was heavy on the hearts of teachers, school administrators and children all over the island today.
5th grade teacher Mary Jane Alegre-Medina says students went about their usual routines but were still affected by the news from the other side of the globe.
“They ask questions like ‘Why [those kids?]’ ‘Why did it have to happen?’” Mrs Alegre-Medina said.
Tamuning Elementary and LBJ Middle School Principal Kathy Reyes says she thought of her students right away when she heard the news from Newtown and the connected schools are already taking extra measures to secure the campus.
“We have now our school aids just roaming the campus again. We used to do that every now and then but because of what happened we wanna do that do that daily,” Reyes told PNC. The inner gates of the schools will also be closed while school is in session and visitors will have to provide the Main Office Staff with a Photo ID.
Superintendent Fernandez says every school does monthly drills to prepare for various emergencies and administrators attend an active shooter training during school breaks. He hopes to get more teachers involved in the training too.
While most schools were discussing their emergency response plans in reaction to the massacre of 20 elementary school children and six adults in Connecticut, Ordot Chalan Pago Elementary School put its response plan into action this morning.
The school was placed on lockdown, and students were dismissed early after personal threat was made against one of the staff members
“We were notified of a particular threat involving a staffer here,” Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez told PNC. “Based on the information that we had we decided that it was best to just, to act in the sense of caution and keep our kids safe by shutting down the school while we assess the situation and gather our facts.”
Fernandez says there was never a perpetrator on campus and the students were safe. As students were being released at noon Fernandez said DOE had not yet determined whether class would be held at school tomorrow.
“I really want to make sure we’re updated in regard to the facts. I wanna touch base internally with our school leaders here as well as with the police and once we gather that we’ll make a determination,” Fernandez explained saying DOE would notify parents and the media.