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Bay Area Schools Increase Security, Offer Counseling After Connecticut Massacre

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- In the wake of 27 people, including 20 children, being gunned down at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, security was stepped up and counseling services were made available at schools throughout the Bay Area on Friday.

"San Francisco grieves with those affected by the needless and horrifying violence this morning in Connecticut. Our thoughts, prayers and deep sympathy go out to the families of the children and other victims of this unspeakable tragedy," said Mayor Ed Lee, who indicated that resources from both the city's Dept. of Public Health and the SFPD had been deployed to San Francisco's schools.

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In Oakland as well as in the communities of Fremont, Palo Alto and San Leandro, police officials responded by directing extra police patrols around local schools.

In the East Bay, Livermore Valley Superintendent Kelly Bowers said crisis support staff was being made available to help anyone who is "particularly emotional or distraught by this tragedy."

Likewise, Pleasanton Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi said there would be "a counselor or a psychologist assigned to each elementary school site in order to assist any student who may have difficulty dealing with the event."

In the North Bay, Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke said her district was taking a "heightened awareness to campus security and safety and to the impacts an incident like this can have emotionally on the children we serve."

Burke also pointed out the following helpful resources for prevention school violence and talking to children about the shooting:

>>Resources for Coping with Tragedy

>>All Safe Schools and Prevention Information

>>Assessing An Intruder Threat

>>Talking with Kids about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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