GUEST COMMENTARY:   Reflections on Sandy Hook

This past weekend we have all been shocked and hurt by the enormous tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. Words are inadequate to describe the hurt that has occurred in Newtown, Conn. Our children’s safety and well-being is our number one concern, but we must also remember that no community is immune to such tragedies happening locally.

All of our districts have building and district emergency operations plans in place in collaboration with local and countywide first responders. This past fall, all the county school administrators and emergency personnel attended a training held by our sheriff’s department, led by Sheriff Robert Craft. We have agreements in place to share counselors and resources if ever one district is hit hard by a particular crisis. There are some suggestions for parents at times like these:

  • Limit your child’s media viewing an online access to these events. Turn off the set at times and talk to your child, process with them what they are seeing and thinking.
  • Assure your child that they have your love and support, at home and at school.
  • Assure your child they are safe at school. As tragic as the event is at Sandy Hook, schools are still some of the safest places for children.

School safety and preparedness is more than just an educational responsibility. It is a community responsibility. All of us bear some responsibility to look after the well-being of our children in our community. We encourage you to communicate concerns to school officials or law enforcement officials when you see concerns. We hope and pray this kind of tragedy is never repeated, and we pray for all of those suffering loss in Newtown. It takes all of us to be vigilant and supportive to each other to prevent such events from occurring again.

John Fast, USD 411
Jerri Kemble, USD 397
Lee Leiker, USD 408
Steve Noble, USD 410
Ron Traxson, USD 398

 

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