DeSoto County confident in schools' emergency plan

(WMC-TV) - The tragedy in Connecticut had many people concerned about children's safety as they headed back to school after the weekend.

DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall wants to reassure his students and parents that safety comes first.

"The people of DeSoto County entrust their greatest commodity to me every day and it's my goal to keep them safe," said Kuykendall.

All 42 of DeSoto County's principals met Monday morning with school security staff about their commitment to student safety.

We're more prepared today than we were Friday. We're more prepared this year than we were last year. Hopefully we'll be more prepared tomorrow," said DeSoto County Schools EMA Director John Caldwell.

Caldwell says schools will forever look at school safety differently but feels confident in what DeSoto County is already doing when it comes to security.

"Cameras, two-way radios, people watching diligently. We have school resource officers who are also patrolling the community," said Caldwell.

The district, with its nearly 33,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 42 schools, is one of the largest in the Mid-South.

Caldwell says it is going to take the eyes and ears of the community to make sure something like the Sandy Hook shooting does not happen in small towns here.

"You have to have a measure of security and feel that security. I think we have that, we just have to make sure that security doesn't turn into compliancy," he explained.

Caldwell says continued training is the key to staying on top of school safety and school security.

Officials in DeSoto County meet once a month to analyze school security and safety procedures.

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