Recordings of 911 calls from last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were released Wednesday, and they also show Newtown dispatchers mobilizing help, reassuring callers and urging them to take cover.
CLEVELAND - An exclusive 5 On Your Side security survey investigated safety at elementary schools across six Northeast Ohio counties.
Exactly two months ago, 20 children and six adults were shot and killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Since then, parents and educators have joined local police departments in widespread discussions over children's safety.
As a result, our investigative team asked the same questions parents are asking: How safe is my child's school?
Our investigative team surveyed 25 schools over six counties across Northeast Ohio with very specific guidelines.
Chief among them: Any security issues discovered would be reported immediately to school officials so they could be quickly remedied. In addition, schools with security issues would not be publicly identified to protect children's safety.
Our survey found encouraging news.
Front doors at all 25 schools were securely locked, with electronic buzzers in place. Even so, school safety experts who have performed similar reviews have found that's not always the case.
"We're still finding a significant number of those schools you can walk in the front door and elsewhere,"said Ken Trump, founder of National School Safety and Security Services.
"And the questions isn't whether we can get in," Trump said, "But six months or six years down the road, will we still have the level of security that you've found in your investigation?"
Trump also warns that many school fail to have adequate plans for those who gain access to schools with permission.
"We have to be prepared for day-to-day security issues, like non-custodial parents, angry parents and others who may have frustrations and ill intentions once inside," Trump said.
School resources officers or SROs , like Sgt. David Knarr, agrees. SROs are often off-duty cops employed by schools to patrol hallways.
"I'm sure there are still schools out there that are not as secure as local law enforcement would like them to be," Knarr said.
Knarr said funding and complacency are often to blame, along with a believe that "it can't happen here."
Safety experts urge parents to take an active role in supporting schools that need to invest in increase security, as well as reporting safety concerns to schools and local police.
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