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Inland Schools Called Safe in Wake of Connecticut Shootings

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Leaders ponder additional security measures

By Chris Levister

Many school districts across California are reconsidering their security measures fol lowing a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday.

At a Rialto charter school beefed up security measures include a review of front-office rules for visitors entering the building and installing a buzz-in system that lets a receptionist see a person trying to enter the school.

At many local schools, teachers started their day under gray clouds and with heaviness in their hearts for Sandy Hook Elementary where a gunman killed 12 boys, eight girls and five women on Friday.

Several school leaders prayed for the families of Sandy Hook victims.

School safety remains a high priority for schools and districts throughout San Bernardino County, and "I want to assure parents that our schools remain safe places for their chi ldren," Superintendent Gary Thomas said in a statement Tuesday.

"Our schools and districts have developed safety plans to prepare them for circumstances that we hope they never have to experience.

San Bernardino County schools have strong partnerships with law enforcement, as well as community groups, that promotes a safe climate on our campuses."

At Rialto Unified all district patrol officers were put on heightened alert, and high visibility, spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said.

But teachers and school leaders in San Bernardino and Riverside County schools sought to make the return to class as normal as possible for their students.

"Most of our schools are on winter recess for our tradi t ional schools. San Bernardino City Unified spokeswoman Linda Bardere said.

Friday was the last day of school before the winter break for many Southern California school districts, and others were already out for the month.

"We will be discussing and reviewing with our staff the emergency precautions we have in place.

At Victor Elementary School district counselors were made available to students who requested it.

"Parents and students have questions and concerns. We want to assure them that our schools are a safe place for their kids.

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