Springfield Murder Sparks Safety Talks in Schools

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COLUMBIA - The kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Springfield resident, Hailey Owens, has reopened discussions about the importance of child safety.

Fifth grade teacher Susan McClintic said tragedies spark conversations in the classrooms.

"As a almost three decade educator, it's something that unfortunately has crossed my classroom doors before and we do have to talk about it," McClintic said.

McClintic teaches at Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary school in Columbia and encourages her students to take the skills they learn at school home with them.

"Every time we plan a drill for a fire drill or an intruder drill, or a tornado drill, I talk to kids about practicing this at home," McClintic said.

She said while students haven't been expressing concerns to her surrounding the news of Hailey Owen's death, the topic will come up in the classroom.

"In part of our social studies, we watch and study current events so I'm sure over the next day, or Monday through that it will come up and it will be part of our discussion," McClintic said.

McClintic said often times students take tragic news and relate it back to themselves in an effort to understand it.

"They just make personal connections through everything, and we encourage them to do that all the time. So that'll be something I'm sure they'll do," McClintic said.

She said she hopes talking about these issues will encourage students to be prepared and hopefully prevent future attacks.