Just like communities across the country, the Neshaminy community is morning the loss of life in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
"No words can adequately express the senseless taking of innocent lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the parents, family members, school staff and community members. Our nation is rocked by this event, and our own community is reeling from what happened and the ever present possibility of what could happen here or somewhere else," Neshaminy Superintendent Robert Copeland said.
In addition to sharing sympathy for the victims and their families, Copeland is reassuring the community that the district is constantly working to keep its schools safe.
The school district has a District Critical Event Response Team (CERTeam) that oversees safety protocols and procedures. Each school building has an Emergency Response Team (BET) that is responsible for safety procedures specific to each building.
"Monthly evacuation drills and lockdown drills are practiced in collaboration with the fire marshal’s office and the police departments so that we are following best practices. Our CERTeam and BETeams meet regularly to review procedures, share new research about best practices, and implement the best safety practices we can," Copeland said.
To help students and families deal and cope with the tragedy in Newtown, CT, Copeland said that Neshaminy has resources within school buildings to help including principals, counselors, school social workers, school psychologists and nurses that can be of service, Copeland stated.
"We take very seriously our need to protect our children," he said.
Copeland provided some additional resources that can help parents talk to their children about this tragic event:
- American Academy of Pediatrics - Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings
- American Psychological Association - Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Children and Grief
- Child Mind Institute - Caring For Kids After a School Shooting
- Massachusetts General Hospital for Children - Talking to Children About a Shooting
- The National Association of School Psychologists - A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
- The National Association of School Psychologists - Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
"There are many great resources but the most important resources for our children are the caring adults in their world. We stand together with you to keep our children safe and to work to bring a sense of safety and security to our school community," Copeland stated.