Oldham County hosts safety forums after Newtown school shooting - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Oldham County hosts safety forums after Newtown school shooting

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BUCKNER, KY (WDRB) -- As the country still tries to make sense of the senseless school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Oldham County schools are hosting a series of safety forums to address the concerns of parents.

Even though the tragedy in Newtown unfolded 822 miles away, Oldham County parents expressed concerns, raised questions about the "what ifs" and "could it happen here" during a meeting Monday night at Oldham County High School. 

Asst. Superintendent Dan Orman tried to ease those concerns by telling parents that police routinely monitor all of the county's schools and that classroom doors are sometimes locked. Many parents who attended the meeting suggested that school doors should be more closely monitored, that classroom doors should be locked and that school administrators should carry guns.

That last suggestion is unlikely to change, Orman said, because it's currently against the law to have a gun on school property. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth told reporters in Louisville earlier in the day that he is deeply troubled by what happened in Connecticut. Yarmuth said he plans to be heavily involved in the conversation about gun control following the massacre that killed 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

"I strongly support the reinstitution of an assault weapons ban I intend to co-sponsor legislation to that effect," Yarmuth said.

Meanwhile, parents who attended the meeting said they were concerned about the safety of their childrens' school.

"I wanted to know what are their systems, what are in place to keep my girls safe," said Denise Kirk, a parent and substitute teacher. "One of the concerns that I had is that I don't know what the lockdown procedures are when I sub in a classroom. Usually when I'm called it's at the last second."

Officers here routinely roam school hallways. Denise's daughter, Jenna - a student at Oldham High School - said today many of the classrooms were locked.

"It's changed - we keep our doors closed now and the teacher gets up and answers the door now," said Jenna Kirk.

Asst Superintendent Dan Orman says that's not a permanent fix nor is it policy.

"We can't sacrifice the instructional integrity to build a fortress," Orman said.

Police were told parents another shooting like Newtown can't be prevented - but the extent can be reduced with planning.

Orman said he plans to gather the parents' suggestions and take them to the Oldham school board and superintendent.

The next three meetings are:

Dec. 18, 9:30 a.m., North Oldham High

Dec. 18, 1:30 p.m., East Oldham Middle

Dec. 18, 6 p.m., South Oldham High



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