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'Thoughts and prayers aren't enough anymore' | Quad Cities schools, law enforcement react to Texas elementary shooting

Details from the Robb Elementary shooting are still being released from Texas officials. Here's how school districts and police departments have responded in the QC.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — All-day Wednesday, people across the nation had their eyes and ears glued to coverage of the Texas elementary school shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

In Texas, state and congressional leaders gave new details about the Robb Elementary School shooting, including that the gunman had no criminal or mental health history

Many school superintendents, districts and police departments in the Quad Cities have shared their thoughts about the tragedy. News 8 has compiled some of those statements below:

Davenport Community School District

Davenport's Superintendent TJ Schneckloth released a statement on the district's site that details how the district is ensuring the safety of its students and staff. 

Schneckloth's statement says the district has told staff to not address the mass killing at this time "as we do not want to risk causing trauma or anxiety for students unnecessarily." 

The superintendent also identifies two different resources to help parents navigate conversations surrounding the tragedy. The first resource is here and the second one is here

"Together, we can make our schools a safe and supportive community so that our students can focus on the joy of learning," Schneckloth's statement says. "Please take care of yourselves and each other — adults experience strong emotions upon learning of these events, too. Thank you for your partnership in helping us to fulfill our highest responsibility — the safety of every child in Davenport Schools."  

He also told News 8 the district's motto after yet another tragic shooting is 'handle with care.' 

"The best thing that we can do as a community is to look to our left and look to our right and ensure that we're handling each other with care," Schneckloth said. "On times like this, we try to provide the most normalcy to our students and staff and families as possible. But understanding that there is a lot of trauma associated with this and being ready to mobilize resources moving forward." 

Moline-Coal Valley School District

News 8's Shelby Kluver reached out to the Moline-Coal Valley School District for a statement. They responded by saying they would not be releasing a statement.

However, Board Member Andrew Waeyaert sent over the following comment:  

"As a parent of elementary-age students, I am absolutely heartbroken of this latest tragedy, one that seems to happen with more and more frequency in America. Schools should be one of the safest places for our kids and it shakes me to my core when something like this happens. I don't have all the answers but until people on all sides of the political spectrum meet somewhere in the middle for some common-sense solutions to protect children this will continue to happen. Until that happens, pray and hug your kids a little tighter."

RELATED: Govs. Pritzker, Reynolds, QC's congressional leaders react to Texas school shooting

Moline Police Department

The Moline Police Department posted on Facebook Wednesday morning saying, "Thoughts and prayers aren't enough anymore." 

The department calls on community members to stay vigilant and tell law enforcement if they suspect any suspicious activity. 

"These unfathomable tragedies generally occur after the offender shares a plan with friends or via online platforms and they often go unreported to law enforcement for fear of being labeled a bad friend or a snitch," the post reads. "Don't let these tragedies continue to occur, so we can collectively respond with 'Thoughts and prayers,' the next day. We need to prevent these tragedies and we can do that with your help." 

The social post says those who know something should say something. The department can be contacted by: 

Muscatine Community School District & Muscatine Police Department

Muscatine school's Superintendent Clint Christopher and Police Chief Brett Talkington released a joint statement Wednesday about the elementary school shooting. In the statement, the pair say the district is supporting students and staff by providing counselors. 

The statement also reviews the "ongoing safety efforts" taken to keep those in the district safe, including secure entrances and classroom doors, security cameras, school resource officers and added mental health support for students. 

"In light of the tragic events in Uvalde, we strongly encourage all MCSD families to talk to their students and listen to their concerns. We also urge that students continue to 'See Something, Say Something' and communicate with school officials when they observe things that concern them," the statement says. "Students should never feel intimidated or embarrassed by sharing their concerns. The Muscatine Community School District and Muscatine Police Department appreciate the continued support from families, staff members, and the entire Muscatine community. The goal is to provide a safe environment for all our students and staff members."

RELATED: Will Congress act on guns after Sandy Hook, Buffalo and Uvalde?

Pleasant Valley Community School District

Superintendent Brian Strusz posted on Facebook that school resource officers visited every school on Wednesday to "answer questions, evaluate our safety protocols and ensure the safety of our students and staff." 

Strusz echoed the same message as other districts in the area — "if you hear something, say something to a school administrator." 

He also notes that the security of students, faculty and staff is the highest priority of the district. The Facebook post says the district regularly communicates with area law enforcement agencies to "ensure we are doing everything possible to enhance security." 

In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy in Texas, our thoughts are with the Uvalde community. We may also find ourselves...

Posted by Pleasant Valley Community School District on Wednesday, May 25, 2022

On Wednesday, Strusz also revealed the shooting might prompt some changes at Pleasant Valley. When resource officers toured buildings the day after the Texas massacre, he said parents asked about improved safety measures.

At the moment, every door to every Pleasant Valley building remains locked throughout the day, except for the main entrances. For those, visitors have to enter a small room, then be buzzed in by staff. 

"We've also had some parents ask us today to lock the outside doors first, so you can't even get into the open vestibule. So that is something that we will consider," Strusz said. "That's why we talk and reflect on these situations, to ask ourselves what we can be doing better." 

United Township High School

Superintendent Jay Morrow told News 8 via email that the new building from two years ago helped to "significantly increase" the school's security measures, which are still in place "on a daily basis." 

"These normal security procedures include an armed school resource officer on the premises, daily, as well as limited access to the building where visitors must check-in at the front door, where a background check through our Raptor system is required.  All exterior doors are locked at all times," Morrow said. "This is a very sad situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the Uvalde school community."

Rock Island-Milan School District

A Rock Island spokesperson told News 8 the safety of its buildings has been one of the district's main focuses over the last 10 years. In a statement, the district said:

"We have put a lot of focus on safety and security of buildings in the last decade (using our 1% Sales Tax Revenue money to renovate). For the renovation at the high school we are making that entrance more conducive to security and safety which will allow our staff to assess who is entering the building and deny access to anyone demonstrating suspicious behavior. The high school is the last project for us to complete - all of our other building entrances have been reconfigured for safety/security."

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