ATLANTA -- Some Georgia schools are reviewing their security plans and planning extra patrols today following the shooting massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut.
The interim superintendent of Rome's city schools, Lucian Harris, said he will assess procedures and meet with faculty members soon to discuss what teachers can do to be "as prepared as possible."
"I just think that, we pray nothing like this would happen, but at the same time, as an administrative group, when we come back together (from the holiday break), I am going to meet with them and we're just going to review and talk about our lockdown procedures," said Harris. "I pray to God we don't ever have anything like this in our school system."
A gunman shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday and killed 26 people before shooting himself. The dead include 20 children ages 6 and 7.
In Savannah, Chatham County Public School Police Chief Ulysses Bryant said the district goes through "what if" scenarios to prepare for the worst. Law officers already are familiar with school layouts, he said.
While schools are a "controlled environment," he said, they also are public spaces and not restricted areas.
"Best thing you can do is plan as best you can, take all the precautions you can," he said.
With classes resuming today for the first time since the Connecticut shootings, Gwinnett County police are planning to provide extra presence around schools to prevent copy-cat incidents.
"Officers will be assigned to every school within Gwinnett County police jurisdiction and these patrols will last for the next several days," said Cpl. Edwin Ritter.
Wednesday will be the final day of classes for public schools in Gwinnett before the winter break. "Our plans are to continue to take the important steps that have kept our schools safe in the past, as well as continuing our work to enhance programs to ensure safe schools in the future," Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks said in a statement.
Georgia PTA President Donna Kosicki said every state school has a plan of action in case of an emergency, but parents also must do their part
"I can't even fathom what those families in Connecticut are going through," she said.
Floyd County Schools Superintendent Jeff McDaniel said the shooting was at the top of the prayer lists of system members all day on Friday and will continue to be so in weeks to come.
"I know our parents are concerned, and our schools will be there to assist the students."