A horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last Friday sent shockwaves through a nation that, tragically, has witnessed a number of mass shootings in recent months.
Even in light of other shootings at a movie theater, mall, temple, and past violence at high schools and colleges, however, the most recent incident reached new depths of horror due to the age of the victims. Of 26 people killed at the school, 20 of them were children around the age of 6 or 7.
With the news unfolding over the course of the day on Friday and through the weekend, local schools took proactive measures to help students and their families process the tragedy and reassure them about efforts made to promote safety at the local level.
At Central Schools, teachers were given an outline of how to lead a discussion on the incident in their classrooms if the subject were to arise on Monday, and letters to students’ families were sent out on Monday discussing how parents could work through the subject with their children.
In terms of security, Superintendent Brian Corlett said that recent changes such as the remodeling of the high school and middle school offices to provide a view of the entrances was one improvement, and other safety efforts are ongoing.
“We are constantly evaluating procedures and protocols and have made numerous changes with regard to communication and certain areas where we had dead zones for radios through our lockdown drills,” Corlett said. “We are also consistently improving our building security through some of the changes we have made during the construction process and with ideas for more in the future.”
For the rest of this article featuring all schools in NYA, Cologne and Hamburg, pick up a copy of this week’s NYA Times.