Officials Recommend Training in More Proactive Approach to Handling Violent Incidents in Schools

Officials who help shape school safety policy in New Canaan are recommending training for all district staff in a new way of preparing students for violent incidents. 

Members of the district’s Crisis Advisory Board, or ‘CAB,’ told the Board of Education last week that the powerful experiential training they’ve undergone in a more proactive approach to handling situations such as shootings should lead to new “lockdown” procedures at all public schools. In traditional lockdown drills, children go into a classroom and teachers all follow the same procedures, South School Principal and CAB member Joanne Rocco told the Board of Ed at its regular meeting Dec. 3. Those steps include “locking the door, pulling down the shades, turning off the lights and students would all go into one corner of the room where they weren’t visible and would just wait,” Rocco said. “So that was the traditional lockdown,” she said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.

New Canaan Woman Trips and Falls Outside High School, Breaks Nose, Sues Town

The town on Monday received a lawsuit filed on behalf of a local woman who last spring fell outside New Canaan High School and broke her nose. It happened at about 6:45 p.m. on a Thursday in April 2017, outside the high school’s main entrance, according to a lawsuit filed by Lawrence F. Reilly of the Ridgefield-based Reilly Law Firm. Joan Holloway tripped on a protruding, bent, defective and uneven piece of metal rebar where a paved walkway meets the grass on the southern end of the main entrance, according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court. “As Ms. Holloway fell to the ground, she was unable to brace herself and her face slammed into the paving stones covering the entranceway to the High School, thus causing injuries and losses described herein,” the complaint said. Those include “massive bruising above and around her left eye” so that it was swollen shut for a time, “abrasions, scarring, severe bruising and discoloration throughout her face,” contusions and swelling of her left knee and “ongoing tenderness of her injured body parts,” according to the lawsuit.