Students at Gulf Highlands Elementary school in Pasco County all wrote 'thank you' cards to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for keeping them safe during a deadly shooting that took place just blocks from the school's campus.
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Some of the students even read their notes to the deputies.
“Thanks for keeping us safe. You are our heroes,” wrote one student.
"Thank you for saving our lives,” wrote another.
Sheriff Chris Nocco came to the school on Wednesday to receive the hundreds of handmade 'thank you' cards, an unexpected gesture he said was really appreciated.
“When you get a 'thank you' and a hug from somebody, especially these little kids, you know where we’re doing the right thing out there,” Nocco said.
Nocco also thanked the teachers and staff at the school for following the new emergency plan that he worked with schools to implement this year. The new plan included barricading doors and having students hunker down in their classrooms during a lockdown.
“Had it been the past, they would have run all over the place. God forbid, they could have run where the shooter was. By having a plan in place and knowing what to do, they were much safer,” Nocco said.
He also credited principal Judy Cosh for acting quickly when the lockdown order was issued.
“We don’t ever want to do that again,” Cosh said. “However, we’re very appreciative of the way the police responded to use and the way we responded internally as a school.”
No one at the school was hurt.