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Dane County Sheriff’s Office increasing presence around schools in wake of Texas mass shooting

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday it is increasing police presence around schools in the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas school.

An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school after he barricaded himself inside a single classroom and “began shooting anyone that was in his way,” Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today.”

Law enforcement officers eventually broke into the classroom and killed the gunman.

Olivarez told CNN that all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary.

The killer “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,” he said. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.”

“There are no words to describe the devastating news of yesterday’s school shooting,” Dane County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Elise Schaffer said in a statement, adding the incident serves as a reminder to be aware of one’s environment.

The Sheriff’s Office offers Emergency Preparedness Training for the community that can be scheduled online at go.madison.com/preparedness-training.

As teachers and parents around the country struggled to explain the tragedy to children, top educators joined Democrats and others in calling for reforming gun laws in Wisconsin and nationally.

“The painful fact that gun violence and other societal challenges continue to spill into our schools requires me to engage in issues that extend beyond traditional school policy,” state Superintendent Jill Underly said in a statement. “The education of Wisconsin students and the safety of our children and educators in our schools must be addressed — not tomorrow, not next month, and not after the next loss of life.”

Madison School District Superintendent Carlton Jenkins also said the country “must do better.”

“Communities, business, elected officials, and educators need to work in collaboration to provide the necessary laws and resources to keep our children and communities safe,” he said, adding that students depend on them to live in a world that is “safe from a persistent threat of violence, and in a place and time where human decency is the fabric of society.”

Courts reporter Ed Treleven's memorable stories from 2021

From the more than 240 stories I published in 2021, here are five that stand out in my mind for various reasons, because of their unusual subject matter, popularity among readers or the lasting impact the subjects of those stories will have. Most are different from the usual things I encounter in the courts every day.

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