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School leaders talk safety

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Albany/HV: School leaders talk safety
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Schools around the Capital Region are heightening security and reviewing safety protocols in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Leaders met with concerned parents Tuesday in the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk School District to talk about what's being done to make sure kids are safe. Innae Park has more.

CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- “I'm honestly terrified to come to school. And I shouldn't feel that way. I should feel safe here,” said RCS High School Student Elizabeth Wickham.

For families of Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central Schools, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is haunting. Not just because of the senseless loss, but because they, too, have been on high alert.

Superintendent Dr. Alan McCartney said, “Someone was talking about how they would go about doing it, what kind of gun they would use, how they would hide it, etc.”

That's one of two reports that the district received in the past two weeks. Police determined both to be unfounded. The Chief says they were simply words, not plans. But even so...

“Everyone who's spoken to me has been terrified. I know probably half of the student body isn't planning on attending school Friday,” Wickham said.

Parent Linda LeClair said, “Would I forgive myself if I make her come to school on Friday?”

This Friday, the 21st, is a date spread by a rumor, says the chief. While he believes there's no threat…

“The amount of security we're putting here is to make the community feel comfortable to send their kids to school,” Coeymans Police Chief Gregory Darlington.

“I have a lot of faith in the Coeymans Police Department and Bethlehem Police Department,” another parent said.

Not all feel that way. So the superintendent and chief spoke to parents at a meeting Tuesday.

McCartney said, “We pulled our crisis resource teams together and took a look at our current policies and practices.”

They reassured them that plans are in place and security is priority.

“We will protect their kids,” Darlington said.

LeClair said, “In some ways, they're doing what they can, but I still feel there's more information we could have.”

All say though, their work isn't over yet.

Police say there will be greater patrols at all schools in the district even though they don't believe there is a threat. School officials will hold another public meeting to address security in the near future.

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