Details continue to surface about the horrific events Friday in Newtown, Ct., where a gunman entered an elementary school and took the lives of a reported 26 people, including 20 children.
In Oak Creek, the site of a mass shooting just four months ago, School Superintendent Sara Burmeister said she cried as she heard the news.
"It's a tragedy beyond words to describe," Burmeister said. "You can't help but think that this could have been your child, your grandchild, your students, your teachers, your schools, your community.
"We always think, 'It can’t happen here,' and we pray fervently that it won't. But as we know from our experience this summer, it can happen anywhere, even in the quietest and gentlest of communities. My heart just aches for that entire community. I can't imagine how they will recover from this horror."
President Barack Obama mentioned the shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh temple, where six people were killed and four wounded, in remarks Friday afternoon.
"As a country we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children," Obama said.
Mayor Steve Scaffidi posted on the city's Facebook page: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families in Newtown, CT today. As a country, we must find a way to stop this violence."
Burmeister said the school district conducts lockdown drills at all of its schools on a regular basis as part of its "crisis plan." The crisis plan is kept confidential for security purposes, but some pieces, like the drills, are shared publicly.
"Teachers always review the procedures for the drills with their students, and then we run the drills to ensure students and staff know what to do in certain types of emergencies, such as a lockdown," Burmeister said.
Doors to Oak Creek schools are locked during the school day. Monitors and buzzers are at the doors so that school office staff can see who is at the door and speak with the person or people about why they are there.
If a person is acting suspicious, the school's secretary contacts an administrator, who determines whether the person has a legitimate reason to be there, Burmeister said. The person may be asked to leave, and police may be contacted.