We are all reeling with shock at the senseless tragedy that occurred on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The tragedy impacts all of us, especially our school-level administrators, educators, and support personnel who are on the front line educating our children every day. We know all too well of the innocence, joy, hopes, and dreams of young children who are in our elementary classrooms. Each day, our educators inspire our precious children, nurture their dreams, and prepare them to fulfill their aspirations. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it will be for them and our children on Monday morning as they all begin another day filled with hope, promise and fulfillment.
On Monday, our schools will open with all of us feeling a bit more vulnerable. Our schools will activate their crisis action teams to assist anyone who needs extra support in dealing with the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Our Employee Assistance Program will be ready to serve our employees wherever they may serve in DoDEA. We have posted resources on our Facebook page and our website, which may provide insight and assistance for our personnel in coping with this tragedy.
As we start our week, I ask that we all redouble our efforts to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for our students and employees – our top priority. Undoubtedly, our students, families, employees and community will need reassurance about the safety of our schools. Although our schools are on military installations, adding an extra measure of security, I ask that you review our procedures and suggestions described in our “Safe Schools Program.” For those of us who are not located in schools but who support our schools each day, let’s review our policies, processes and programs, too, to ensure safe and secure learning environments.
We are poised to assist in any way we can. If anyone perceives a gap in our support, please let me know. We are all part of an honored fellowship which devotes each day to the care, well-being, and education of the children of our Nation’s heroes. We do this with compassion, intelligence and abiding commitment. I am grateful and humbled by the honorable service of our all of our employees. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you continue your work on behalf of the military families we serve.
Other resources for coping with tragedy