MAUMELLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Friday's tragedy is not going unnoticed by Central Arkansas school districts. In fact, some officials said events like this are a reminder to review the procedures when it comes to our children's safety at school.
That was part of the message THV 11 News heard on Friday from the chief operations and security officer at the Pulaski County Special School District, one of the state's largest districts. THV 11 News learned more about the security in place and heard from a parent of two elementary students who held her daughters even tighter Friday.
Raysha Clark shared a laugh with her 5-year-old daughter, Ally, at the Maumelle Library Friday. Her 9-year-old girl, Stella, was also there on a day like most any for these girls but far from it for mom.
"It's pretty devastating, it just keeps getting worse, the death toll keeps going up you know," Clark said. Reacting to the tragic school shooting in Connecticut Friday, Clark is feeling extremely lucky to have her kids "in tow." Both are students in the Pulaski County Special School District.
"They just think I'm extra "huggy" today, but I know how grateful I am, yeah, extra sugar tonight," Clark said.
"Each of the schools have plans in place in the event of an emergency; there are procedures to help minimize the chance of an emergency situation," Derek Scott said.
Derek Scott is the Chief Operations and Security Officer for PCSSD. He couldn't give specifics for security reasons but clued us in on day-to-day precautions, like school resource officers and volunteer parent watch-dog groups to back them up.
"They work a schedule. They go through the school. They know who's supposed to be there [and] who's not supposed to be there," Scott said.
There have been building upgrades as well over the year.
"We had doors that were hard to get to lock. We fixed a lot of that," Scott said, and he added that everyone needs to play a part. "That's not one teacher, that's not the custodian, that's not the security personnel, that's every person's job is to remain vigilant."
Scott also said the district added and upgraded security cameras last summer district-wide.
We also reached out to the Little Rock School District on Friday. Superintendent Morris Holmes said, as a precaution, he reminded principals to ensure all entrances were secure and all appropriate doors were locked.
Dr. Holmes also sent out a memo Friday to all principals in the district regarding campus security and pushed the district's security staff of more than100 personnel.