Twenty-six people are dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.
The shooting caused school officials and parents all over the country to reflect on the security in our nation's schools. Local parents were concerned about the victims and families involved in the Connecticut shooting, as well as the safety of their own children.
"God forbid and we hope that it never happens around here," said Todd Gump, a whose child attends Saint Francis De Sales Central Catholic School in Morgantown. "It's just horrible and you know I think, just making sure your kids are safe and knowing who's around, that's what's most important."
"I think it's a shame that we even have to worry about our children being harmed when we send them to school," said Amy Wieloh-Darmelio, whose children also attend Saint Francis. "However, I'm very fortunate about my school here, St. Francis Central Catholic School, we don't have to worry about that. Our school took steps this fall to increase our security."
Earlier this year, the school installed cameras at each door and all around the campus. It also created a system for letting visitors in the front door.
"Unfortunately, the day and age we live in,so much of this happens all the time," said Rita Sokos, Director of Admissions. "And like I said you can never predict when or where so we decided that it would not be a bad idea to step up our security measures and things like that."
Before any visitors are allowed to come into the school, they have to go through a procedure to gain access. They need to check in at the front desk, buzz in, come in through the front door and head to the office. Once they're in the office, they sign their name in and receive a visitors pass.
Alexandra Hamilton is a music teacher at St. Francis. For Hamiton, the situation in Connecticut hit close to home. Her dad used to work at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shooting took place. Her parents still live in the area.
She said protecting the students at St. Francis is her main priority.
"You know this is a learning experience in the fact that we are here to keep our kids safe and if they're not safe then we are not doing our job," Hamilton said.
"It's just got to be the most devastating thing to know that you sent your kids to school and you know... everybody should just hug their children because unfortunately many children's lives were affected," said Wieloh-Darmelio.