Most readers attended school when fire drills were the biggest worry for children, but kids today have more to worry about. The recent slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have raised new questions about school security.
But work on protecting children from shootings has been ongoing, said Chuck Wilson, school facilities director for Kanawha County. The design of new schools, for example, was changed following the Columbine shootings nearly 14 years ago.
Principal's offices are now centrally located, allowing them a view of the front driveway and walkways and the main corridors inside the schools.
"Kind of like a centralized control of the building," Wilson told the Daily Mail's Zack Harold.
It is one of the touches of common sense that mark the local response to school shootings. The school system is working to install scanners for driver's licenses at school entrances.
In addition, Kanawha County schools have been installing "intruder locks" one classroom at a time. They allow teachers to lock doors from the inside to protect students.
This has already been done at 28 Kanawha County schools, maintenance director Terry Hollandsworth told the Daily Mail's Dave Boucher.
Some school systems over-reacted to Columbine, said Mike Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a Georgia-based school safety organization.
"So many school districts went out after Columbine and spent millions of dollars and looked back and said, 'Hey, this isn't really working for us'."
Officials in Kanawha County made thoughtful, common-sense choices instead. Parents will appreciate the fact that the school system has actively pursued a sensible approach for a long time.