Written by Cory Twibell, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
In the aftermath of the unthinkable, local students, teachers and administrators returned to school on Monday, Dec. 17 following the Connecticut school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults the previous Friday.
The Hicksville Public School District Superintendent Maureen Bright, along with the board of education, said that in the face of danger, teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook displayed an altruistic side that many educators are known for throughout the country.
“The courage, love and selflessness demonstrated by the teachers, administrators and school staff serves as a shining example of the commitment that school professionals make caring for the children in our care,” Bright said in a statement.
The superintendent said that the district takes safety “very seriously” and maintains an ongoing relationship with the Nassau County Police Department.
Bright said that the district’s doors at its schools are locked and the district screens any visitors. Buzzers and security staff are utilized and cameras in place districtwide. A building emergency response plan is in place and staff are trained in lockdown, lockout and active threat protocols that are practiced with students and staff members.
School safety teams also participate in reviews for evaluating plans and administrators take part in workshops that the Nassau County Police Department sponsors.
“This tragedy highlights the importance of working together to be diligent in following security procedures in our schools and reporting unusual or concerning individuals or behavior to school personnel,” Bright said.
The incident has raised many questions, including how lawmakers will respond to not only gun control issues but also the nation’s stance on mental illnesses.
“We cannot begin to assign a psychiatrist to every American, but we can take meaningful steps to lessen the effect of what has become an American culture of violence and obsession with guns,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. “I have long fought for rational measures of gun control and to keep high-capacity magazines and weapons out of the hands of those who should never be allowed to use them. I will continue to do so.”
County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, a former teacher whose children attended Hicksville schools, empathized with those who lost their lives in such a tragic way.
“As a parent, grandparent, and a former teacher, I can speak from my heart and say that this was truly an unspeakable tragedy. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this. May God bless all the beautiful little angels and the adults who died trying to protect them, and give all their loved ones the strength to continue on,” Walker said.
Tips on speaking with young students about the tragedy are available on www.hicksville publicschools.org.