Leslee Caul said she received a phone call from a concerned parent Friday morning.
The call came after news of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where 27 people, including 20 children, were killed at a school for reasons still not known.
This person was just looking for reassurance, said Caul, spokeswoman for the Pasco School District.
As details about the incident in Connecticut were released throughout the day, Mid-Columbia school officials tried to put parents minds at ease and assure them that student safety is an ever-present concern for teachers, principals and all school staff.
I think everyone is on notice and saddened and concerned, said Mark Higgins, spokesman for the Walla Walla School District.
Officials with the Kennewick, Richland, Pasco and Walla Walla school districts said their schools have a variety of measures in place to protect students from daily routines such as requiring visitors to sign-in to how many more elementary schools are designed to limit the number of entrances.
Many schools have school resource officers or even their own security personnel and surveillance cameras.
The schools also have emergency action plans in case of a threat to students. That includes lockdown and evacuation procedures. Those procedures are regularly rehearsed and in many cases are later reviewed so they can be improved.
Its not just a matter of doing the drill, said Lorraine Cooper, spokeswoman for the Kennewick School District.
The Walla Walla and the Prosser school districts already have had to put their practice and training to work a few times this school year. One day last month, Prosser locked down all its schools just before students were to be released for the day when police were pursuing a suspect in a car chase.
Walla Walla locked down a school last week as law enforcement officers pursued a suspect. Earlier this fall, another school was locked down because of a police standoff with a man who later shot himself.
Another incident this fall where a device found in a tree near a school appeared to be a bomb, led Walla Walla school officials to direct children away from the area as they were let out of class.
But on Friday, it was the need to calm and comfort that also played a big role.
Higgins said he also fielded concerns from parents just wanting to make sure their children were safe.
Pasco Assistant Superintendent John Morgan sent notes to all Pasco school principals Friday, telling them that if they needed help talking to students or staff about the tragedy in Connecticut to contact him.
The Richland School District sent letters home with its elementary students Friday afternoon, detailing the districts safety measures, offering advice to parents on talking to their children about the incident in Connecticut and asking for their help.
All of us must have our eyes and ears open to what is going on in our community, wrote Mike Hansen, Richland assistant superintendent, in the letter. There are children potentially at-risk all around us. Let us be alert and vigilant as we continue the work of keeping Richland schools safe for the outstanding young people who come to learn everyday.
A few parents even contacted the Kennewick School District on Friday, asking if they could briefly visit with their children and hug them in light of the days events. Cooper said those requests were accommodated.
Obviously were going to be open and let families do what they need to do together, she said.