DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- The Douglas County Schools District is apologizing to parents for not immediately informing them about a shooting situation that ended when a suicidal suspect was shot and killed by officers last Friday.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office officials said four schools, including Sierra Middle School, implemented emergency protocols as soon as police received reports of a man with a gun.
"This incident highlighted some opportunities for improvement regarding our emergency notification process. Some Sierra parents did not receive any notifications about the situation until after it had been resolved," said Erin Kane, the Douglas County School District Interim Superintendent. "This is unacceptable – knowing how important timely and accurate information is for families, especially during a crisis."
Kane said the district has spent the last week reviewing their communication and security protocols and have made some changes that are effective immediately:
Instead of giving schools the choice to handle communication during an emergency, the District will take the lead, allowing school personnel to focus on what is most important – keeping our students and staff safe.
Any time the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) is activated, the District will immediately send parents an alert via text, voice and email messages, letting them know of the Lockout, Lockdown, Shelter in Place or Evacuation. We will provide additional updates about the situation as needed and until it is resolved.
Kane added that these messages "will sacrifice detailed information" for speed. "We feel that the benefits of providing alerts will outweigh frustrations," she said.
None of the schools were involved in the incident during the incident, allowing the lockouts to be lifted as soon after the situation was resolved.