Cedar Rapids schools and police address safety policy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids schools and police address policies after Connecticut tragedy

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

In Cedar Rapids, administrators and law enforcement met with the media Friday, responding to the senseless tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Crisis response plans at schools have been in place and practiced for some time but those plans are always being tweaked.

The Cedar Rapids School District made changes in policy after the Columbine School shootings in 1999.

Visitors now have limited access to buildings, meaning doors are locked, visitors have to buzz in at elementary schools in the districts, and cameras watch the schools' perimeters.

The district practices lockdown drills and requires students to come forward with any threatening information as well.

"It is no longer acceptable in a student environment, if you know something that is putting students or staff in danger, it is no longer acceptable to remain silent," said Dr. Dave Benson, Cedar Rapids Schools superintendent. 

The Cedar Rapids Police Department has made efforts to become familiar with building plans and layouts, and has made changes in its response since the Columbine tragedy as well.

The school district will have counselors available Monday for students who need them.

The school district encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the tragedy in an age- appropriate way.

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