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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's been five years since a gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school – killing 26 people. In that time, schools have made safety and security a top priority.
The Sandy Hook school shooting was a sobering moment for many.
Lafayette School Corporation staff shared how it's always preparing to put children's safety first, and the effort goes far beyond locked doors.
"It was simply devastating," said Lafayette School Corporation teacher Nadine Roush.
Dec. 14, 2012 is a day Roush said stays with her.
"This was in an elementary school that served the same student population that I worked with every day," added Roush.
It was on that day a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adult staff members in Sandy Hook Elementary. The event has changed the way schools look at safety.
"We start with the entryway because we want that to be safe and secure for the kids, the staff and any community members that might be inside," LSC Superintendent Les Huddle said.
Huddle said locked doors don't always keep people out.
"If someone wants to do something, we hope it will deter them 100 percent," added Huddle."The second hope and desire is that it will slow things down."
Huddle said the corporation works very closely with local police, and students and staff take part in drills to prepare for an intruder.
Roush said it's also important to keep tabs on students at all times.
"Everyone has become really aware of the need for security in the building and knowing who the people are in the building at any given time," she said.
Roush said emergency bags go everywhere with her class so updated personal and medical information is available for each student at all times.
"No one wants to think of this happening in our community, but if it does, I feel confident that the teachers and staff in the Lafayette
School Corporation are as ready as we can be," she said.
Roush and Huddle stressed that parents also play a huge role in school safety. They encourage them to review training and talk to their children about the importance of listening to their teachers and following directions.
West Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Rocky Killion was not available for an on-camera interview Thursday.
He issued a statement to News 18 on school safety:
"School safety is always our top priority and we continue to assess our practices and procedures to improve safety for all students and staff."