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Rochester Schools Report 'Quiet and Calm' Monday With New Safety Measures in Place

Volunteers took shifts at school entrances, and police stepped up patrols around the schools in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.

Rochester Community Schools responded to the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, on Monday with heightened security at each building in the district. 

Interim Superintendent Tresa Zumsteg asked principals in all elementary, middle and high school buildings to lock all exterior doors after students arrived in the morning; either staff members or parent volunteers monitored the front doors of buildings during the day. 

In addition, the Rochester Police Department and Oakland County Sheriff's Office had extra police patrols around the schools. 

"I am pleased to report that Rochester Community Schools had a quiet and calm day, with classroom activities proceeding as normal," Zumsteg said in an email to parents on Monday night.

The district's Critical Incidence Team, which includes administrators, social workers, police officers and PTA members, met to discuss long-term plans and safety protocols on Monday.

That team has called for specific training for school personnel that deals with armed intruders. 

"In the long-term we are looking at how we can implement an enhanced monitoring system in our schools," Zumsteg's email stated. 

"We know that open and frequent communication is one of the key components in bringing a community closer together, and that there is strength in this partnership." 

What was different at your child's school on Monday? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Mackey Chandler December 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
If the entry is not physically hardened and the volunteer armed then you folks are delusional if you think you have added any security. You are basically bringing your security up to the level that has already been shown not to work. At Sandy Hook they locked the doors - but they were easily shot out. Two adults ran to intercept the gunman. They undoubtedly would have given him a stern talking to if he hadn't shot them. Exactly what is the point of putting a volunteer martyr at the door? How about putting up a big no guns allowed sign by the door too? That will scare them.
Carol Day December 18, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I agree with Mackey Chandler. A bandaid to make everyone feel better for what? 1 week?
Peter Griffin December 18, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Hey Mackey, maybe we should be on the lookout for you? Nice calling parents & school staff "delusional if you think you have added any securinty". Your remarks sound like you are threatening the safety of the school. Your remarks make me feel quite uncomfortable. If you know so much about running a school why aren't you in charge?? Nice to know you have all the answers.
Steve Clarke December 18, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Why wouldn't Rochester area schools feel safe ?
Chris Lamacchio December 18, 2012 at 07:40 PM
In the time of terrible tragedy people need to be comforted. Especially children. I am proud that the district is taking action. This may not be the long term solution but parents and school staff members are doing something. These are the people that care about the children of our community. What happened in Connecticut was, in my opinion, one of the most horrific tragedies this country h,as ever seen. Many things must change to avoid future similar senseless crimes. Clearly this gunman was a sick is a great community with many great people that reside in it. Unfortunately, the type of person who is able to do such a terrible act of inhumanity rarely can be seen until they snap. The entire moral of our country is being questioned. I do not have all the answers. None of us do, but we can not live in fear. We must come together as a community and country to try to protect our innocent children. They should never be targets of terror. My heart goes out to all the victims and families of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I pray that our country will stand by them and allow them o heal from this terrible day in history.
Dorothy December 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Oh, I don't know. Maybe because Snyder and the rest of the crazy Tea Partiers in Lansing don't want to pay teachers, and they think they should give them guns so they can get into shoot outs with armed crazy people. Snyder can spin all he wants. We all know the only reason he didn't sign the bill to allow guns in schools is because of Sandy Hook. He had to think about it? really? They expel a 6 year old for bringing a gun to school and now he has to think about arming the whole damn place? Churches and arenas could exempt themselves - but schools now way. Snyder's approval rating has tanked 28 points since he signed the flurry of vindictive and crazy legislation coming out of Lansing. He's been in office two years, and Forbes has Michigan in 48th place as a place to live and do business. Mississippi even beat Michigan. Stewart and Colbert reporting on these crack pots has young people running screaming from this state. 2014 can't come soon enough. I'm done with this Chairman of the Board and ready for a real Governor.
Mackey Chandler December 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
"Hey Mackey, maybe we should be on the lookout for you? Nice calling parents & school staff "delusional if you think you have added any securinty". Your remarks sound like you are threatening the safety of the school. Your remarks make me feel quite uncomfortable. If you know so much about running a school why aren't you in charge?? Nice to know you have all the answers. 1. You are a prime example - I point out your so called defense is useless and you accuse me of wanting to see the school harmed and a danger. If your doctor tells you a course of action is going to harm you do you accuse him of wanting you dead? Should you be "on the lookout" for him. If he doesn't predict glowing health he must want you sick. Maybe he will sneak in your house and smother you with your pillow to make his warning come true. 2. Your lack of comfort with my remarks has no rational basis. Emote less think more. How you feel doesn't make the sun rise in the morning. 3. I wouldn't have the job because I would have to deal with people like you.
Chris December 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
mackey, stop, your thinking is distorted. period
Meredith McCutcheon December 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I completely agree with Chris. Obviously, no single person could have prevented the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown. When somebody brings an assault rifle to a school and shoots through the glass to avoid the locked doors, nothing can be done to stop that person. Nevertheless, as Chris said, people need to be comforted in a time like this. Does singing to a child at night prevent bad dreams? Does locking your doors prevent a criminal from breaking into a home if he is intent on doing so? Does stationing a staff member at the front door of a school prevent someone from shooting through the window and entering anyway? No. But these measures provide comfort and reassurance, which is crucial in the life of a child. And maybe, just maybe, they act as a small deterrent for would-be criminals. That's good enough right now. Hopefully, however, we won't stop there. Hopefully, as a society, we can have a meaningful discussion about issues like mental illness and gun control. And hopefully, this discussion will be devoid of name-calling and hostility, focusing instead on the well-being of our children. Until then, I will wait every morning with tears in my eyes until my children enter their school and the doors lock behind them. Does this mean they will be 100% safe when they are at school? Of course not. But it makes me feel a little better. And I have nothing but gratitude to the schools for that.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 05:08 PM
What a well thought out comment. I think you would make an ideal security adviser.You are just short of one thing; ANSWERS.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Yeah, we need Jen Granholm back as our Governor, she really did a great job. She also fled the state as soon as she could - - - I wonder why ?
doug December 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
If adding additional people and steps does nothing more than make the kids feel a little better, then its a great idea. Even though the odds of something happening at one particular school are remote, you cant ignore the mental trauma and stress this tradgedy creates, particularly for our children.. Perception is reality in one persons mind. The sad truth is that there is little that can be done to stop someone so deranged. New gun laws will do little (already proven during last assault rifle ban). There are over 1.5 million AR15's alone already in the USA. We probably won't address this from the cultural side (mental illness, violent video games and movies, etc...), so we will pass a few new gun laws to make everybody feel better and move on. I would like to be wrong about this. I hope they take a broad look at the problem.
Meredith McCutcheon December 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
In a time like this, we don't need this kind of hostility. Please, let's focus on how we can fix this for our kids.
Meredith McCutcheon December 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Absolutely, Doug. Our kids can't learn unless they feel safe. My second grade son came home Monday with lots of questions about Sandy Hook (of course, kids talked on the playground), and he's been quite unsettled this week. Having all of the doors locked and a staff member stationed at the front door helps a little. And if he feels a little safer, that's wonderful. I also hope that this event will be a tipping point, forcing us to address these cultural issues, forcing us to rethink the way we live and the laws we make.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Let us also hope the Laws we make and any procedures put in place are the result of a rational thought out plan and, not the result of knee jerk policy's put in place by the unknowing few. Sadly this happens all to often.
Steve Clarke December 19, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You are absolutely right. I can't help but wonder what that young teacher, Ms. Soto thought just before she was shot and killed ? I wish I had a gun right now - - - maybe ?
Richard Happening December 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
This is not going to STOP ALL shootings/wackos.......... An inexpensive way to make our schools SAFER: Install a wireless panic button system in each school. Wireless buttons (on necklaces and other types) could be given to each teacher. There could also be six to eight buttons located strategically throughout each building so that students/others could summon help. In the event of a problem, this would ensure that help arrives just as soon as possible. It also would be somewhat of a deterrent and make me feel much better than simply knowing that a nice parent has volunteered to take the first shot (the current "heightened security" situation). This could be implemented for under $5000 per building and system monitoring would be a minor expense when compared to the benefits- both perceived and real. This would calm a lot of people who are very anxious about something that hopefully will never happen in our area. Doing something that MIGHT actually help is far better than what has been done. Granted, it has only been a few days.

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