Pattonville School Officials Address Connecticut Shooting
School districts around the nation are coping with the news out of Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed at least 26 people, Friday, including 20 children at an elementary school.
Pattonville school officials said late Friday that police in Maryland Heights, St. Ann and Bridgeton checked in with school district campuses there in the wake of the deadly shooting spree which erupted Friday at Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Pattonville School Superintendent Michael Fulton addressed a letter to all district parents Friday:
Dear Pattonville parents/guardians:
As you may have heard, there has been a school shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.
During times like this it is only natural to think of our own children. As educators, we think of our students as well, and while schools remain one of the safest places for our children to be, incidents of this nature underscore why we make school safety a top priority. Each year, we review our safety plans and update those as necessary. Each school has a customized crisis response plan that outlines procedures for how to respond to a variety of possible situations, including fire, hazardous materials and intruders. Staff members review these procedures every year and are trained on what to do in the event of a crisis. Students and staff practice drills numerous times a year for a number of possible crises, including intruder/lockdown scenarios. Pattonville also maintains excellent working relationships with local law enforcement agencies and safety organizations.
Your children may hear about what happened today and have questions. How we as adults respond to their questions about this incident will have an impact on how well our children cope with this news. It's important as adults and parents we model calmness, reassure students they are safe and remind them that trustworthy adults who care about them are in charge at home and at school, working to keep them safe. If you would like more tips on how to help children cope with tragedy, the National Association of School Psychologists has an excellent resource at the following link:
If your child needs emotional support or just wants someone to talk to, please be assured that our principals, our teachers and our counselors are there to answer their needs. We are committed to providing a safe and secure atmosphere for all our children. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, principal, counselor or me if you have any questions. Thank you.
Michael Fulton, Ed.D.
Pattonville School District
St. Louis County Police have announced that patrols at elementary schools in muncipalities it covers will be a first priority, as a way to calm fears.