Upstate Daycares Focus On Increasing Security -

Upstate Daycares Focus On Increasing Security

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Holy Cross Academy recently went through a security training class to better protect students. Holy Cross Academy recently went through a security training class to better protect students.

Shelley Allen never thought a gunman could walk into an elementary school and kill 26 students and teachers, but it happened.

"It is not a fun thing to think about, but it is a necessary thing to think about," said the director of Holy Cross Academy.

In the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings, Allen called the Simpsonville Police Department for advice on how to better protect the 125 children enrolled at Holy Cross Academy.

"Most of these shooting happen in smaller towns with less than 10,000 residents," said Officer Justin Chandler with Simpsonville Police Department.

While many officers are working inside the schools with educators, Chandler has begun teaching staff at local daycare facilities.

"I took it upon myself to create lesson plan, then got it approved by the Department of Social Services, so daycare workers who took my class would actually get two credit hours towards their continuing education requirements."

Chandler says childcare providers that work outside the school districts need the same training as those watching over K-12 students, and parents agree.

"I think that every parent wants to feel their kids are safe while they're not with them," says Tracy Kelly of Simpsonville.

Holy Cross Academy is now reviewing its evacuation plans for various emergencies. Allen says they also plan to implement some additional security measures.

Simpsonville Police Department isn't the only agency working with daycares. 7 On Your Side found the sheriff's offices in Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg counties along with most area police departments will provide training or a security audit to businesses, if requested.

DSS keeps information on complaints and deficiencies for every licensed daycare in the state. The agency also visits commercial facilities regularly.

Officials recommend parents ask their childcare provider about their specific security policies, staff training and how many times a year do they run mock emergency scenarios with students?

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