Shooting is a graphic reminder for Lowcountry schools

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- In the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Connecticut, many parents, teachers and community members are again focusing their attention on school safety.

For Lowcountry schools, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a graphic reminder of the importance of being prepared.

"We look at our innocent children and you think about the innocence and what possibly could happen," Ashley River Creative Arts Principal Jayne Ellicott said. "It reminds you procedures are very important."

Throughout Charleston County School District, staff meetings were held Monday to discuss emergency plans as well as how to answer any parent and student concerns.

"I think I got more phone calls from parents than anything else. Most were Kindergarten (parents) who were very concerned about being out of town a lot. They are not here and they wanted to know what our procedures were how do they know children are safe," Ellicott said.

Ellicott said the first thing they do when there is threat is a lockdown call.

"We've shown a lot of people it could be done through our phone system that identifies to everybody that all children need to be behind locked doors," she said.

She said teachers lock their doors and don't open them again until told by proper authority.{}The administration also uses color codes to announce the emergency situation.

"Red means you secure kids in a very safe place in the classroom and don't make any sounds or noise so a shooter or someone in building would not know what classroom children are in," Ellicott said.

Ellicott added that students do lockdown drills several times a year.{}

Charleston County School District will have increased police presence the entire week.