PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Schools in Philadelphia and South Jersey are increasing security measures following the massacre in Texas. They’re also offering support to students who need it.
At Sheridan Elementary School in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, tearful conversations took place between students and staff in the wake of the school massacre in Texas.READ MORE: Wawa Hoagie Day Giving Away Free Hoagies At Independence Mall Wednesday
Seventy percent of the student population is Hispanic.
“One of the reasons for that impact, I think, felt so strong was that the kids look just like ours, the ones who were killed in Texas,” assistant principal Julio Nunez said.
The school is making three counselors available to any student who needs to talk.
“Giving them that sense of what they can do is important so they’re not walking from conversations feeling hopeless,” Nunez said.
To give parents peace of mind, police ramped up their presence at schools in Philly on Wednesday and Thursday.
In Camden, and across New Jersey, police did the same.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Health Centers Now Offering Free COVID-19 Vaccines For Children Ages Six Months To 5 Years Old
“Our children are our focus, and our educators as well,” Camden County Police Chief Gabriel Rodriguez said.
In fact, law enforcement is increasing its presence at all 16 traditional public schools in the City of Camden, as well as charter and renaissance schools for the rest of the school year, which ends June 24.
“Our young people and our families deserve to know and to be assured that their students are safe,” Superintendent Katrina McCombs said.
As an added security measure, the Camden City superintendent says all schools will have silent alarms on their doors by September 1.
“We will continue to implement those security drills that we do on a regular basis to ensure we are always ready to be able to mitigate any negative loss of life that may occur in the event of a tragedy,” McCombs said.
Fed up with gun violence, hundreds of high school students in Camden walked out of class Thursday afternoon.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will be attending a rally to end gun violence at Congregation Beth Shalom on Friday at 12 p.m.MORE NEWS: Man Killed In Apparent Road Rage Shooting In Springfield, Authorities Say
CBS3’s Madeleine Wright will have live coverage Friday at noon.