Dear Parents and Educators:
The events of late last week in Newtown leave me searching for an appropriate way to express my shock, disbelief and grief. As rich and varied as our English language is, how do we assemble the words in such a pattern as to speak about the unspeakable? How do we write about the unfathomable? How do we summon the sentences to make sense of the senseless? In the end, we cannot.
Fueling our futility is our desire to let the good people of Newtown know they are central to our thoughts, prayers and meditations as they attempt to move forward from the aftermath of this tragedy. We hope to be connected to them in some way, but the fact remains that we are separated both by geographical distance and by a lack of actual experience with the pain and loss they suffer. As such, our cries of anguish are diminished to faint whispers and our proffered kinship reduced to simply good intentions.
All we can do to be constructive as people, a community and a school district is to join the coming state and national debate about how we can make society – and our schools by extension – more safe from this type of violence.
At the school district level we will continue to:
- View “safe and secure” schools as a journey, not a destination, and adopt policies proven to be effective in reducing risk;
- Provide the utmost in training to all employees on security issues, including frequent updates;
- Work with our local Police and Fire Departments to coordinate prevention and response activities;
- Move toward completion of our campus safety and security audits throughout the District; and
- Do all of these things as routine protocol rather than in response to tragedies in other locations.
We will also continue to recruit, hire and train the kind of professional and support people who always place students first and who would react – should the unthinkable occur – with the same bravery and valor in protecting our children that our brother and sister educators in Newtown exhibited.
Parents who have questions about security procedures should contact the campus principal.
With sorrow but hope,