In the aftermath of a series of shootings at a school on the East Coast that left 27 people dead as of Friday afternoon, Roseville Public Schools Supeintendent John Thein offered his condolences on behalf of District 623. He added that the district would continue to make student and teacher safety a top priority.
Here is the statement that Thein issued earlier today that was posted on the school district's website:
A tragic event took place today in Connecticut. An armed intruder killed eighteen elementary students and eight staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This senseless act of violence against innocent children and their beloved staff members has shocked the entire nation.
The loss of any life is a tragedy, but the loss of 26 is a catastrophe without understanding. Prayers of the entire 623 Family and the entire nation are with the Sandy Hook School community and especially to those who have lost a loved one.
It is only natural for all of us to think not only about the victims of this horrendous act but also think about our own children and their safety and security.
As Superintendent of Roseville Schools, I want you to know that the first priority of each member of the 623 staff is the safety of your most precious possession, your child. Roseville Area Schools works closely with community and County law enforcement agencies to prepare to meet unexpected emergencies.
To ensure the safety of our students, staff and guests, Roseville Area Schools’ buildings use only one entrance. Each building has a second set of doors or a security person to provide a second line of security before a person is allowed to enter the school. All visitors are required to explain their presence in the school and the reason for their visit.
Staff are trained to challenge any unfamiliar person they encounter in the school and immediately report any unusual activity in the School. All building staff are trained to lockdown and secure the school in case of a threat in or outside the school. All facilities also have video surveillance cameras.
All these precautions and others will not be successful without the support of our community. Parents and other guests in our schools are asked to abide by the school district safety and security procedures. Together, we will continue to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our learners of all ages.
Tonight, or a day in the future, your child may ask to talk to you about the events of today in Connecticut. As a parent or guardian, taking time to communicate with your child on any topic is wise and helps your child to deal with the trauma of this horrible event.
Roseville Area Schools will be there to support you and your child in dealing with the events of today. Social workers, counselors and other school staff will be available today and every day forward to assist you and your family.
Please keep the Sandy Hook Community in your thoughts and prayers.
Dr. John Thein
Meanwhile, Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius offered these thoughts on the tragedy:
"Today, innocent children and educators lost their lives in an unspeakable tragedy. When we send our children to school, we expect they will be safe and secure. Nothing is worse than when our confidence is shaken and the safety of a child is put into question. Our hearts go out to the Newtown community as they begin the long process of healing in the days, weeks and months to come."
And the National Association of School Psychologists offered these suggestions for talking with children about violence.
Check the Newtown Patch site for further updates.
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