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ABCUSD Issues Letter to Community on School Safety

ABC School District superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu issues an official statement to the ABC community in response to the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Editor's Note: Dr. Mary Sieu, superintendent of the ABC Unified School District, has issued this statement to the ABC community -- parents, students, teachers and staff -- in the wake of the deadly school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.

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To: ABC Community

It is with deep sadness to hear about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut this morning. There were multiple deaths and injuries resulting from an adult shooter on campus. We recognize that this will cause great concern to many of us. A sense of normalcy is best for our students during these situations.

Please be assured that safety is our highest priority every day. We will continue to be vigilant and will take all measures to ensure that our students are safe in school. We continually work to maximize student and employee safety in our schools.

We do this by:

  • Maintaining excellent relationships with the local police and fire departments and city officials in the cities we serve. They always provide outstanding rapid response service whenever called.
  • Regularly practicing school-wide drills, including lockdown drills, to prepare for worst case scenarios.
  • Maintaining an emergency communication system that we use to connect rapidly with our parents by phone and or email.

As parents, you will be addressing this issue at home. Here is some advice that we would like to recommend:

  • Limit exposure to the news. Video footage will be repeated in the next few weeks and we need to monitor it carefully.
  • Try to keep a sense of normalcy in your children’s lives.
  • Look for signs of anxiety, and if you see them, please let us know and we will work with you to address your child’s needs.

In times like these, we are reminded that every single adult in our school community contributes to our student’s safety and well being.

Thank you for caring and doing all that you do for the students in ABCUSD.


Dr. Mary Sieu
Superintendent

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Also related:

  • ABCUSD Superintendent Pledges School Safety in Wake of Newtown School Shooting
  • For complete up-to-date coverage on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, visit sister-site Newtown Patch
Carissa Cordero December 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM
How much time do the schools devote to emergency drills? My daughters' school seems to run emergency drills during the last 15-20 minutes of school. I think at the end of the school day most students are focusing on post-school activities. And the amount of time devoted to drills doesn't seem like enough time for an entire elementary school to properly run a drill. I just worry that in a real emergency the kids won't be prepared to handle the situation.
Christine December 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I definitely think you need to address that with your daughters' school, Carissa. I just asked my son the timeframe in which his school drills are done [earthquake & fire], and they seem to do it in between recess & lunch times. He said they have talked about doing a lock-down drill but have not done one yet. I think that the kids need to practice these drills at different times of day [especially during their breaks] so that they [and the faculty] can handle the different scenarios without much chaos.
Luis Paulo Oliveira December 15, 2012 at 05:51 PM
This is the downside of building and exporting billions of guns to the entire world. It back fires at you at home when you least expect. Lack of love for life, disturbing facts growing up in a broken family and no respect to other people's life along with easy access to guns of any caliber anywhere in the USA, we can't even stop these horrible events from happening. There isn't an emergency plan to deal with this situation. We might find ways to avoid this senseless and crazy act from happening, but there is no plan to stop this from happening. There are more guns in American households than there are people living in the USA!!! As economy crises increases, the more 'crazy' people American society will produce...
MarieSam Sanchez December 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Carissa, you bring up a really good point and I will ask the district about this. What I do know is that many of the local schools are continuing to practice drills this week in light of what happened in Newtown last Friday. I'll also be doing a story on how local law enforcement has prepared itself to handle to a critical situation at schools in our area. So look out for that!!!

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