APPLING, Ga (WJBF)- The devastating mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, leaves many parents nervous to send their children to school.

Parents are expressing some of those fears on social media. Many parents, including some who are teachers, said they decided to keep their kids home from school Wednesday. One parent took her child out for what is left of the school year.

Both the Columbia County School District and the Sheriff’s Office say they are doing everything they can to keep children safe in the classroom.

“I just think the citizens have entrusted us with their most valuable possession and we need to make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect that,” said LT. Russell Canterbury, CCSO Training Lieutenant.

The school year is ending but the safety of their children is always on parents minds. When mass shootings at schools happen like the one in Texas on Tuesday, many parents worry about sending their kids to one place they should always be safe.

“We all take this, and the possibility of this seriously. And we have trained on it, I know, for at least 22 years. And we will continue to train on it. We will make sure that our officers as prepared as possible,” Canterbury explained.

He went on to say that all officers go through a rigorous, mandatory training on active shooter situations every year. Canterbury further explained that the way officers respond to those situations changed in 1999.

“Prior to Columbine, the standard response of law enforcement officers to situations like this was to secure the scene and wait for your tactical officers to arrive. But what they found after Columbine was doing that makes more victims.”

Canterbury said he doesn’t know what the solution to the problem of mass shooting is, but thinks schools can always increase security to keep students and staff safe.

“I think ensuring that you have an armed officer at every school. As a parent with one in elementary school, I know that’s what I want.”

Many of our local school districts released statements Wednesday, re-iterating the security measures they have in place at their schools.

Aiken County Public School District Statement
Columbia County Schools statement