PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Following the tragic shooting that happened in Newtown, Conn. Friday morning, many local parents are wondering how safe their kids are in Rhode Island schools.
RI Education Commissioner Deborah Gist said that her department is working to find out what can be done differently to keep our children safe.
She told Eyewitness News Friday that her team immediately went into crisis response mode when they caught word of the shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary.
"We pulled out our procedures, and we've been cross walking those with every bit of information that we get coming out of this tragedy in Connecticut."
Gist said that state laws were amended in 2007, requiring lockdown drills twice a year in every school.
"The classroom is locked, no one leaves the classroom, any children who are in the hall go to the nearest classroom, those doors are locked, the children and the teacher are to get on the inside wall, down towards the floor, and stay there until they hear otherwise," she explained.
She also reassured Rhode Island parents, saying that their kids are in good hands.
"We definitely see these events happening, these mass situations, it is still extremely rare, said Gist. "Our children are safe at school most of the time."
Commissioner Gist said she doesn't want Rhode Islanders to feel panicked after what happened Friday, since the existing protocols are in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
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