Local News

Post-Columbine, N.C. Schools Reminded To Prepare Emergency Kits

Posted April 20, 2004

— Five years ago, a small town in Colorado was the site of the deadliest school shooting in the nation's history. The Columbine massacre prompted school systems around the country and in North Carolina to make changes.

It also taught school leaders across the country an emergency can happen at any school, any time.

Two years ago, the state sent videotapes to every public school in North Carolina that show how to respond to a crisis, like the one at Columbine. It also tells them how to put together an

emergency black box kit

.

"We have to believe in North Carolina that it can happen and that's why we need to be ready for a response," Cooper said.

The black boxes should contain specific school information like maps, keys, alarm codes and student and staff rosters that can be made available to principals and police in an instant.

On the fifth anniversary of the Columbine shooting, state Attorney General Roy Cooper is encouraging school superintendents to make sure their kits are complete.

"They have to assemble these kits, have to show the video that we've given to their faculty. They have to go through some training to make certain that they have assembled the kit properly," Cooper said. " It's a good idea to have two kits in each school."

Wake County Schools completed its kits and took another step with a emergency notification system called

Saf-T-Net Alert Now

.

Parents provide as many contact numbers as they want to their child's school. With just one phone call to Saf-T-Net, an emergency message goes out to 4,000 numbers simultaneously.

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