Liverpool In what experts are calling the one of the worst school shootings in history, a gunman opened fire on a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, killing 27 people and injuring at least three more. The majority of the victims were children.
In the early stages of the investigation, police have not yet said how the shooter, tentatively identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, entered the school. They believe his target was his mother, Nancy, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. Nancy Lanza was one of six adults killed in the shooting.
Inevitably, in the wake of such a tragedy, parents in Central New York will wonder what their children’s schools are doing to prevent something similar from occurring here. In North Syracuse and Liverpool, administrators want parents to be sure that all measures are being taken to protect their children.
“It’s just horrible,” said Donald Keegan, assistant superintendent for management for the North Syracuse Central School District. “Obviously, any school around the state is going to be shaken right now, and we’re all thankful it’s not happening in our district. But it raises the concern: Could it happen here?”
Keegan and Liverpool Central School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns both said that the security systems in place made such an event unlikely.
Both districts have similar precautions in place. Liverpool and North Syracuse both use Raptor’s V-Soft technology, which requires visitors to provide a driver’s license or other form of photo identification upon entering the building. The ID is scanned, and the Raptor system performs a background check to screen for registered sex offenders, restraining orders, domestic disputes, custody and visitation violations and more. If a potential threat is identified, the system alerts administrators and/or law enforcement personnel immediately.
In addition to the Raptor system, both districts use a single-point-of-entry system to restrict access to their buildings. Visitors can only access the building through one door, through which they have to be buzzed in. Employees have security access cards that allow them into any door, but only to particular buildings at particular times. Otherwise they must use the single point of entry system.