Schools Examine Plans Following Pennsylvania Rampage

Created: 04/09/2014 7:05 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s the stuff of nightmares for parents and schools. And Wednesday morning, it became reality when a teenager with a knife went on a rampage at a high school in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.

"When parents drop their kids off at school, they become mine to take care of," said principal Sheila Berger at Sumner Elementary school in Austin.

"By law every school in the state of Minnesota has to have a crisis plan," said Nancy Lageson, director of the School Safety Center for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Sumner elementary school principal Sheila Berger is a member of the Austin school district's security committee.

"In order to provide the safest environment for students and staff," she explained.

“We've added security cameras inside the buildings, outside of buildings. We've added the door buzzer system for entrance during the school day."

“There are two different things a school can do when an emergency situation happens,” the School Safety Center’s Nancy Lageson told ABC6. “They either stay inside that school or they go ... go means to evacuate."

When police were involved in a suspected armed stand-off just down the street from Sumner elementary school in January, the Austin school district put its emergency plan into effect and kept student *inside*.

"And then after the fact always come together, debrief and saw what worked well, what do we need to tweak," principal Sheila Berger said.

And Wednesday's stabbings at Franklin Regional high school in Pennsylvania will prompt schools around the country to take another look at those plans ... as they did after Columbine, Sandy Hook and countless other school tragedies.

"New discoveries come into play as to what is the best response, how do you take preventive measures to avoid a situation or event," Sumner principal Sheila Berger said.

“They will start saying are we prepared for something like this," added Nancy Lageson at the School Safety Center.

"And we try to keep the conversation an on-going learning experience," principal Sheila Berger told us.