Local Reaction to the Tragedy at Newtown

December 20, 2012
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Although it was 150 of miles away, the senseless killing of 20 first graders and six school staffers last Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. hit home as if happened right here in Charlestown.

On Friday we all became resident of Newtown.

District A-1 Captain Thomas Lee said has put extra officers outside both Charlestown’s high school and elementary schools this week.

“We’ve had a police presence outside of all schools since Monday,” said Lee. “While we have a good presence each day at the high school we wanted to have extra visibility at all schools in the neighborhood,” said Lee.

Lee also said his officer in charge of schools has been talking with school officials to be kept up to speed on any security changes.

“I think it’s too early to tell if there will be a complete change to security protocol, that is really up to the school department,” said Lee. “We have good security plans in place but there may be some changes in the future.”

School Superintendent Carol Johnson sent home information to parents on how to talk with their children about the tragedy.

“When I was a teacher and later a principal, it was not always easy to see when a student was struggling with an emotion that had not yet reached the surface,” said Johnson. “Quite often I found myself in search of the right words to comfort a child who came to me with a difficult question or concern when there was no easy answer.”

Johnson asked parents to reassure students that schools are safe places and that BPS and many other schools have strong protocols in place to ensure student safety.

“Our school teams will review and reinforce these protocols in the coming days,” she said. ‘