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An excerpt from a letter from the head of the school:

I strongly urge you to minimize your children’s exposure to these events on television, the radio, and online, yet be prepared in the coming days to listen to and support your children if they want to talk about the tragedy. We, as adults, will need to model calmness for our children, answer their questions honestly but without graphic detail, and provide them with an empathetic, listening ear. To that end, I want to provide a couple of resources so that you can be prepared to address this horrific incident with your children if necessary:

American Psychological Association: Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a School Shooting
MSNBC: How to Talk with Kids about Gun Violence
National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children about Violence

Rest assured that your children’s safety is our number one priority at [The Boy’s school]. We are confident that the policies in place to protect your children are as strong as they can be. We are now providing our staff with resources on how to best work with our children when they return to school on Monday.

I appreciate the immediate attention given to the concerns of parents for the safety of their children in our school the moment something happens to any child at any other school. I applaud the school officials for addressing this almost immediately. The only thing is that despite the safety and security measures in any school, our children are not safe from random acts of senseless sickness. As a friend (JG) put it, until they start building schools like they build prisons, there is no way to keep our kids 100% safe.

And how can we? We are guarding against the wrong people or perhaps not guarding against enough people. We tell our kids to look out for the Boogey Man. We teach them “Stranger Danger”. We don’t guard against the trusted teacher, the reliable parent, the overburdened secretary, the teacher’s son/husband/wife/daughter. As my mother said, it is no longer enough to screen the teachers, we have to screen the teachers’ relatives. And, how far do we go…1st cousin, 3rd cousin twice removed?

Enough is never enough until enough is enough. Until not another parent has to pick out a corpse instead of picking up their child, we are not doing enough. Until a parent in California doesn’t have to fear for the life of their child in the aftereffect of a tragedy in Connecticut, we have not done enough.

The most crippling thought is that even though the policies in place to protect my child are as strong as they can be, “as strong as they can be” is not 100% full proof. Because there is no full proof.

My heart goes out to every parent at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I pray for strength for the parents of those that were lost and strength in the community as they process today’s loss.

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