Local school leaders weigh in after Texas school shooting

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Schools across the county are sending out messages to families after the mass shooting in Texas.
They are increasing their security measures and are providing grief teams and counselors for students and staff.

“We’re all devastated by what happened in Texas,” RCSD Chief Communications Officer Marisol Ramos-Lopez said. “Our staff and our students, everyone is affected. When situations like this occur, it hits really close to home.”

While there are no school resource officers in Rochester City Schools, Ramos-Lopez said their security plan is strong and it’s reviewed often.

“We make sure that schools are prepared, that our safety and security team is available and aware to move at any time,” Ramos-Lopez said. “Our partnership with the Rochester Police Department is strong, and we’re grateful to them that they have been at our schools this morning.”

West Irondequoit Central School district superintendent Dr. Aaron Johnson said they’ve added new protocols that include youth advocates and training for staff.

“We fortified our main entrances. We’re going to do more work this year with two middle schools where when people come into the building, they don’t enter right into the building,” Johnson said. “It’s a secure vestibule where we screen them and when we’re training our people, what to look for.”

Johnson said they are making sure everyone is prepared and knows what to look for.

“We’ve got to recognize when people are starting down that pathway to violence, when there’s these little things, these warning signs, you know, that they’re in distress, or duress, that they need some additional support and then to work as a community,” Johnson said.

A spokesperson for the Greece Central School District said: “We have been in communication with Greece Police. In addition to our two dedicated school resource officers and more than 25 security guards, all Greece Police officers have electronic badges that allow them entry to all of our buildings and they will be performing periodic patrols. Our schools all have a single point of entry and double entry vestibules for added safety. We are also in the process of updating security cameras districtwide and are about halfway through the replacement of all classroom locksets so doors can be locked from inside classrooms rather than from the hallway.”

“But the important role of the adults in our building is that we are here to provide a safety net around our students, to hug them with our love and our care,” Ramos-Lopez said.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester Police and the New York State Police will increase their patrols around schools.