Incidents like the one in Connecticut make parents wonder just how safe their children are in school. Local leaders were quick to talk about policies they have in place for Valley school districts in the event of an emergency.
Schools can practice drills and have plans for emergencies, but campuses are open and that won't stop a deranged person with a gun. Still, administrators are trying to calm the community, telling parents that schools are normally very safe.
A parent's worst nightmare continues to play out in Newtown, Connecticut, after gunmen storm onto an elementary school campus and kill dozens.
All over the country, people are now questioning the safety of their own children.
“Schools are safe, 99.9% of our schools have nothing like this ever happen to them,” said Larry Powell, Superintendent of Fresno County Schools.
Powell is deeply sad over the lives taken Friday. The superintendent oversees 325 schools in Fresno County. He feels personally responsible for the 200,000 students he oversees, but he says nothing can prevent the unthinkable.
“What we don't have control over are these random people that come on campuses, so we have to have protocols in place to handle those situations as best we can,” said Powell.
Fresno Unified's superintendent points to an emergency guide the district uses. There's a plan for many things, but a mass shooting isn't on the list. He asks everyone in the community to help make campuses safer.
“This is about keeping everybody's awareness high. Frankly, people who are aware are better prepared. It's just that simple,” said Michael Hanson, Superintendent.
Fresno police respond to incidents at schools in the city. Officers are at most high schools, but not at junior high and elementary schools. Chief Jerry Dyer says officers train for these kinds of incidents.
“The responsibility of the officers is to get there as quickly as they can, to equip themselves and to assemble a team and go in and engage that person who is armed,” said Dyer.
Administrators will continue discussing whether security should be ramped up to help protect local students.