IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City teachers came in to their classrooms to do some studying and prep-work of their own before school starts. They worked through mock, active-shooter scenarios within many school buildings.
Iowa City Police Sgt. Troy Kelsay says the district started working through security exercises with police just before Sandy Hook happened. In December, a gunman shot and killed 26 students and staff inside a Connecticut elementary school. Since then, the Iowa City Community School District has continuously worked to stay prepared. Today's training gives them experience in dealing with intruders in their real settings.
"The district came back to use and said we have staff who never heard the sound of a gunshot before, for example, don't know how they'd react or what they would do or what their options are," Sgt. Kelsay said.
Iowa City Schools Superintendent Stephen Murley says the district is also going through security upgrades on their buildings. That includes more fencing and cameras. Plus a new visitor ID and check-in process that includes an instant background check.
"Being able to get instantaneous feedback from law enforcement about what the choices were that they faced, what the implications were and made that work for the teachers in each individual building was very important," Murley said.