Tri-Cities parents react to elementary school tragedy

TRI-CITIES, WA - Today's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school has horrified the nation. The shock and sadness was felt by many here in the Tri-Cities. KEPR talked to some parents -- left heartbroken at the news.

"I was at home, I just woke up turned on the TV and that is the first thing I saw," said mother Beatriz Hernandez.

Parents like Beatriz Hernandez will never forget this day. A mother of three, a shooting of this magnitude makes you question your children's safety -- out of your arms.

"I don't want to bring him to school anymore, I just want to keep him home with me because it can happen here or anywhere else," said Hernandez.

The kids who were lost -- were babies themselves. Schools officials throughout the Tri-Cities got a lot of calls from parents asking about security at the schools.

Kennewick's Lorraine Cooper says state law requires schools to go through monthly lockdown drills.

"We remind our students and staff at times like these, this is exactly the reason we do these kinds of drills,"said Kennewick's Lorraine Cooper.

Lorraine tells KEPR most Kennewick schools have security cameras and the ones that don't currently are getting them soon.

One Pasco parent didn't want to go on camera -- but would like to see even more security.

"These are so many innocent lives being taken and we think the school is a safe place to be at," said one anonymous parent.

"I couldn't imagine my kid in that situation," said Hernandez.

Richland released a statement to parents -- detailing some of its security procedures to keep parents feeling secure.

Pasco also posted on its website that staff would be on alert looking for any "unexpected behaviors."

School officials from all three districts tell KEPR they work closely with local police and safety of students is always the number one priority.

"The children are our future for this country, they need to be protected more, more protection," said one father, Valmore Gomez.

Grief counselors were also made ready in case any students or staff wanted to speak to someone.