Benicia Unified Responds to Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Benicia Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Michael Gardner explains district protocols in the event of an active school shooting.

In the wake of violence that has reportedly left at least , Benicia Unified School District officials are taking a moment to share their perspective on the tragedy and are prepared to answer any questions concerned Benicia residents may have.

When asked about how prepared BUSD is in the event of an active shooter situation, District Assistant Superintendent Michael Gardner explained there are certain precautions each school has taken to ensure the district is as prepared for something like this as possible.

In an e-mailed response, Gardner noted the protocols each school is prepared to take in the event of an active school shooting incident. Here is what he had to say:

Any school involved shooting is of great concern for all educators. The one this morning is particularly concerning. In Benicia we have taken steps to help reduce the risk of anything like that happening here. We are fortunate that the Benicia Police Department provides us with two school resource officers. The majority of their time is spent at our high school and middle school but they are able to assist our alternative schools and elementary schools. Most of our schools have fencing that requires anyone to come into our schools to come into the office. There is limited access.

Recently our School Board adopted a policy that every employee must have a photo ID badge on when visiting schools. We work very close with the Benicia Police Department in discussing and instituting policies that will keep our students as safe as they can possibly be. Just this fall, myself, an administrator from Benicia Middle School, two administrators from Benicia High School as well as two Benicia police officers attended a training on school shootings and what we can do as a District and community to prevent it from happening here. Every new employee including substitutes are trained on proper procedures when there is an alert for an intruder on campus.

Certainly with this new tragedy we will continue to work with the Benicia Police Department to investigate additional policies and strategies that will make us even more prepared to prevent something like this from happening in Benicia.

JK December 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I believe that BUSD is doing all they can, but as reported about this morning's shooting, the elementary school HAD a policy in place where people had to go through the office before entering school grounds, some how the shooter got around it. This is a very tragic incident and I pray it NEVER happens in Benicia.
upptick December 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Unfortunately, there's just no defense against crazy.
Stephanie December 15, 2012 at 02:05 AM
This in the wake of a suspicious man visiting 2 BUSD elementary school sites is unnerving at the very least.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 15, 2012 at 04:20 AM
The divorce rate in America, I think now is close to 70%. Over 50% of kids are being raised by their mom or females minus the father or male role model figure with the mom or female authority figure. If You destroy the family (on purpose or by default) and then you throw in a culture of over saturated violence/over saturated sex/over saturated crime/under saturated morals and under saturated some kind of religion; now add an over saturation of GUNS!!! VOILA!!! You got your self a highly explosive and powerful social bomb!!!
T. Gunter December 15, 2012 at 04:48 AM
"...under saturated some kind of religion..." This part is utter nonsense. How much violence has been perpetrated by mankind in the name of religion throughout history? No need to respond, I know the answer.
Joe Feltcher December 15, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Exposing kids to spousal abuse is also a huge problem. I think Bobbie will agree with me on that one.
Nick P December 15, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Who wouldn't agree Joe? Watching spousal abuse is worse on a kid than having no father around at all. You have to be a real spineless, immature, self absorbed idiot to engage in spousal abuse. I hope the BPD really goes after anybody who would engage in such behavior in our town. Show as much mercy as the recipient of the abuse was shown......lock 'em up and just loose the key.
Nick P December 15, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Love the way this article was written......No mention of the dope head that walked right onto middle school campus last week, high as a kite, and started running with the kids PE class before the teacher noticed and approached him. Then he walked right off the campus and over to the shopping center where he was arrested. Nice "precautions" in place. How did this guy get onto campus in the first place, and how did he make it all the way to the PE students and begin running laps with them before he was stopped? Lets see some solutions to the issue that just happened last week instead of the BS email pretending like everything is OK when the existing "precautions" failed just a few days ago.......What a joke......
Mary Frances Poh December 15, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Bobby, I absolutely agree with you. Children need both parents to be role models if at all possible. I think we have a responsibility to teach our children from a very early age that they can't have or get everything that they want and how to handle their frustrations. I also think that the violence in the home, which we know damages children's brains, must stop and not become a way of life.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 15, 2012 at 07:04 AM
The bottom line I think is that if we listen we will find that the kids/children are trying to tell us something. Listen to the children!!! Listen to the babies(from the mouthes of babes) when they sag their pants, when they play acid rock, heavy metal, rap; when they send subliminal messages. When they tell you to drop them off at school and leave immediately, when they don't want to be seen walking with you, when they tell you to be quiet and don't talk around their friends, when they tell you that your hair is too "Knotty" and needs to be cut(oh, I'm sorry I got carried away there for a minute)!!! Anyway, like I was saying; like a beached whale on the shore of the beach. Our kids are trying to communicate to us, but we are not trying to communicate back to them!!!
Marnix A. van Ammers December 15, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I had heard that the shooter got past school security because he was known as the son of a teacher, but the very latest I've heard is that he forced his way in. I'm sure schools will now get much stricter about who can come on campus and when. But even then, incidents like this are still possible. But gun deaths in *general* (I think it's a ridiculous 30+ per day in the U.S.) could be reduced by some common sense laws. Allow hunting and home protection guns, but disallow military style weapons. Get rid of large ammunition clips. Force background checks nationwide for any and all gun sales. There's even more that could be done without infringing on the 2nd amendment, but just those few things would help. We should all reject the extremism of the NRA leaders!
Stephanie December 16, 2012 at 04:34 PM
This is just one of the MANY reasons I've pulled my daughter from the BUSD, and will pull my son next year. If I'm able, my kids will never be in the public school system again in Benicia. Many people think that the BUSD is such a fantastic school district, but that assumption is false. Thank God for some of the great teachers my kids have had, because otherwise it would have been an awful experience all together.
SG December 16, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I am an itinerant teacher who travels to different schools in Benicia, as well as schools in Fairfield. I can walk onto most of the campuses without going inside the office if I so choose. I always wear a badge, and have seen staff at the schools in Fairfield wear them, but have not seen staff (who are absolutely wonderful by-the-way) at the schools that I have visited in Benicia wear them. I think that in light of this latest tragedy, it would be a good idea for each employee to wear a picture ID.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 16, 2012 at 10:30 PM
It is time for us to start profiling 'White America". Just look at the history of these shootings; 95% of them have been perpetrated by White America. This group goes unscathed and walk around with immunity towards their mis-deeds in society. In a society where we have African-Americans as 13% of the population but make up a good 40-50% of the prison population this in itself should be viewed with some scepticism toward this current system of Racial Profiling.(Read Michele Alexander:The New Jim Crow/ Mass Incarceration in a Color Blind Society) Had this and any of these shooter been an African-American, people in Benicia like: Jim Pugh, Babaloo, Robert Livesay, Headeley, Feltcher and many of others would have been advocating for the removal of African-Americans' from the Continent of North America.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 16, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Just take a read!! I am just a mirror reflecting the truth!!! jimpugh 11:23 am on Friday, November 18, 2011 The city of Vallejo has turned into a killing field these days. It is no wonder given that the size of the force directed to control such things is just no longer large enough to stop these things from happening. It is sad that enough though Officer Capoot was wearing full body armour, he was unable to keep from being fatally shot. Today the animals are controling the Zoo which is now called Vallejo. jimpugh Joe Feltcher 1:34 pm on Sunday, July 15, 2012 Thank you BPD for keeping tight reigns on this trash that keeps coming into Benicia to stir up trouble. Personally I am getting sick of it. Babaloo 2:09 pm on Sunday, July 15, 2012 Thank YOU Benicia PD.....who took the trash out,,,wuf wuf woof woof.... Lori Cannon 3:41 pm on Sunday, July 15, 2012 So what was your implication of suspect? You said "Go back to Vallejo"...Suspect lives in American Canyon....That's just 2 zip codes away....just clarifying :-) Joe Feltcher 10:03 am on Thursday, June 28, 2012 I look forward to reading an article about robberies, bank holdups, and copper thefts from the Industrial park that do NOT involve Blacks from out of town. Please let me know when THAT article is published.... Joe Feltcher 4:54 pm on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 Can we close the border with Vallejo? Is that feasible? I'd rather the City spend money on that than solar panels.
Joe Feltcher December 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
How cute! Bobbie has kept a little scrapbook of my comments. (blush).
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 17, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Ignorance and racism is not cute, idiot. You think I am cute, well I got "BIG" dissapointments for you!!!
Nick P December 17, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Don't lie Bobby....we all know how cute you are. I mean not like sexy cute or anything, but cute like when you see one of those silly little dogs sticking their head out of the car on the freeway. You know with their ears flopping all around, and their tongues hanging out. When you see them you think, how cute......what a mindless little animal, only concerned with the minute and trivial details of what is happening at the moment. So, anyhow....yeah, cute!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 17, 2012 at 04:25 AM
I have a question? What is it with white people and dogs?
mommy of five December 17, 2012 at 06:00 AM
I just moved to benicia i have a "mixed" household i am mexican,native amercian,white and my husband is african american and i can't stand racist people,and i myself see alot of robberies especialy "copper" and you may not read about it but i know i've seen more than a few tweekers a.k.a "crystal meth" users in Benicia and they were not black....just saying
Kenny December 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Enough already. How did this thread go south so quick anyway?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Mommy of five; let me be the first to say, Welcome to "JerkWater U.S.A"., Benicia, Ca.
mommy of five December 18, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Bobby thanks lol... But benicia is a nice clean city,however my children do not start school till january and i hear they have good schools,so we will see....
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Benicia does have Great schools and Great opportunities for our kids to get a good to great education. But we don't have to take this racist crap. It is a sick practice that has outlived its' usage(if there ever was one). It should have gone the way of the DOE DOE Bird. And the weirdest thing of it all to me is that I grew up in Alabama. Ala(freakin)bama, and I never in my wildest dreams heard the racist crap that I am hearing from some of Benicias' residents on PATCH!!! I think that's the biggest thing that gets me!!!


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