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Good morning. If students ask questions today about Friday’s events, let’s focus them on the fact that we have plans and safety measures in place as a school. Then get them re- focused on the fact that we all need to do our best on the business at hand – school this week. If someone seems in extreme crisis, let me know and I will see if I can get a district counselor to come over later today. Thank you for all you do. I know that any one of you would lay down your life for our children if need be. You are a wonderful group of dedicated people.
As we all work to grapple with the horrifying events of Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, it is important to first acknowledge our feelings and those of students and parents. Please know that the Crisis Team and social workers will be available to talk with anyone who feels that would be helpful.
I am certain we are all impacted, touched, impressed, overwhelmed, by the sheer heroism of educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. Educators are heroes every day and that was never more evident than on Friday. In the spirit of the holidays, let us be kinder to one another, mourn the loss of life on Friday, and commit to doing everything we can to ensure that violence is simply unacceptable, whether in schools, at malls, in movie theaters, or in parking lots of grocery stores.
The following points may assist you and your students.
• It is important to answer students' questions without dwelling on the violence. Let them know that it is okay to be upset or angry.
• Return to routine to the best extent possible.
• Provide opportunities for children to express their feelings through writing, talking, musical expression, or through art. Observe and listen to them carefully.
• We all have an obligation to take threats of any kind seriously. Please report any threat to the safety of your classroom or site to your supervisor and to the Crisis Line.
• Embrace our lockdown drills, crisis plans, and emergency response plans. It was clearly evident that the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School did everything they could to protect children.
A Parent Advisory will go home today to all parents. It will include more extensive information about how to deal with this or any crisis. Thank you.