Local Teachers Re-evaluate Classroom Procedures in Wake of Tragedy

Leon County, FL - Teachers in Leon County are re-evaluating their classroom safety procedures in light of the Connecticut school shooting.

"Our priority always is to save our students." Says, Maria Lucas.

Lucas has been teaching at Sabal Palm Elementary School in Tallahassee for ten years.

The guidance counselor says she can relate to first grade teacher Victoria Soto who shielded her students in the deadly school shooting in Connecticut Friday.

Lucas says, "I'm sure that it wasn't a second of delay that they knew that they had to protect those students. It's instinctual. Teachers protect children no matter what; even if it means self sacrifice."

Administrators say they haven't seen visible impacts on children at Sabal Palm, but say teachers carefully discuss the Sandy Hook tragedy with them.

Sally Stephens, an assistant principal at Sabal Palm, says, "They noticed that the flag was at half staff so they were curious about that. I talked about it with them in general terms and just kept the focus on reassuring those kids that they're safe at school."

Lucas says, "We had a relatively low impact at our school because many of the students had the opportunity to speak with their parents [over the weekend,] which is what we actually encourage."

Lucas says it touches her when she hears stories of how teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary protected students during the shooting.

She says, "Not even thinking about our own safety, just grabbing the student to get them out of harm's way. That's what we do. I think that's what we do every day. I think we are like most people never think that we're going to be called to do that on our job. We never think that we're going to be called to have to make that decision. But, I don't have a shadow of a doubt, that those teachers sprang into action and did what they're trained to do. We're trained to protect and love children every day."

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