These are sad times as we all wrestle with the tragedy in Connecticut. Senseless violence against children and adults brings pain which is deep and unsettling. As you decide as a family to either share the information or shield your children from the news, we would like to offer some helpful resources. The following links may help your family in the coming weeks. Out of respect for family choice, we do not plan to initiate the conversation with any students. But as you know, children share information with each other, so the teachers will be prepared to respond in helpful ways if necessary.
*The National Association of School Psychologists -- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
*American Psychological Association - Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
*American Academy of Pediatrics - Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings
*The National Association of School Psychologists - A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
*American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Children and Grief
*Child Mind Institute - Caring For Kids After A School Shooting
Also, we will be reviewing our security plans to make sure we are doing all we can to provide safety measures on a daily basis and in cases of emergency. This work has been going on in earnest at Harvard Public Schools even before this tragedy. We are involved in grant work through several agencies which has us working together with other districts. Updated emergency plans were already shared with staff.
We hold dear the trust you give us by sending your children to school and under our care. May you find comfort this weekend in sharing time with your family. I know I will find extra joy in hugging my young sons.