Effects Of Newtown Shooting On Local Elementary Principal

Roanoke, VA - Early into the attack on Sandy Fork Elementary, Principal Dawn Hochsprung was killed while moving quickly to try to stop the shooter.

That part of this tragedy highlights how a principal's role has changed over the years as security has tightened at schools.

Dr. Mark Crummy, known by all as "Dr. C." stumbled onto the joys of elementary education 18 years into his 20 year career and wonders what took so long.

"It's a great place to see the impact of caring competent teachers on the lives of youth," said Crummy.

Unfortunately his career has coincided with shooting after shooting at schools across America which has left him little doubt of what to do if the unimaginable strikes.

"The message I sent to teachers was there is nothing we are not doing that's not safe and secure for our students," he said.

As the attack on Newtown unfolded last week, Dr. C. and his staff began quietly implementing protocol, which included keeping the kids isolated from what was going on at another school filled with kids just like his.

"Teachers will naturally want to do more so I reassured everybody that the best thing that we could do is let everybody see our faces Monday morning, let them know that we care about them," said Crummy.

Other than a few things out of place: A flag at half staff and a police officer patrolling nearby, this week work at Highland Park Elementary does go on as normal.

Maybe a little bit extra heart, though.

"I don't think anything has changed for me. I probably look at them a little more intensely or think of them in a little more special way. But I believe in culture and climate in school and I think we are already there, here," Crummy said.

Notes were sent home with kids Friday giving parents reassurance that all was well and a number to call if need be.