Below is the message sent by Wellesley Superintendent of Schools David Lussier:
Dear Parents and Staff,
I am reaching out to you in light of the tragedy that occurred today in Newtown, Connecticut. The lives lost would be terrible in any situation. The fact that this occurred in a school building, where we assume our children and staff will be safe, makes today’s news all the more difficult to comprehend.
Nothing we can say is likely to explain what happened today and yet we need to be prepared to support our children, who may have questions and/or feel vulnerable as they process this news and observe our reaction as adults. With this in mind, I am sharing resources that you may find helpful in talking with our children. The first is a set of (attached) suggestions developed by Dr. Rob Evans and Dr. Mark Kline at The Human Relations Service (HRS) here in Wellesley. Rob and Mark have worked with our community for a number of years and have a great deal of experience helping children and adults work through difficult events. If you have any questions please contact HRS at 781-235-4950.
I also encourage you to visit the following links from the National Association of School Psychologists, which offer excellent tips for parents and teachers on helping children cope with tragedies:
As parents and staff within our community, I am sure today’s events have raised questions about the safety standards within the Wellesley Public Schools. Through our facilities improvement work this year, we have been exploring ways we can bolster the safety of our schools by employing technology solutions that would allow us, for example, to better monitor and control door entry. I have also asked our principals to review their building safety protocols with staff to ensure that everyone is familiar with these plans. Finally, we are working with the Wellesley Police Department to review our safety protocols and to preview other models that have emerged nationally. The bottom line is that we are committed to ensuring the safety of all children and staff at our schools and will continue to improve our ability to do so.
While I write to you this evening as your superintendent, my first reaction to today’s news was as a parent, imagining the grief of the families in Connecticut, and wanting to race to my own children and gather them up in a protective embrace. Tonight, as we gather in our homes, let us each embrace our loved ones a little tighter as we send our thoughts and prayers to the grieving families in Newtown.
Superintendent of Schools
781‐446-6210 ext. 4505