Coventry Principal Responds to Newtown Tragedy
Coventry educators stress the emergency precautions that are taken within the district's schools.
In the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Blackrock Elementary School teacher Alicia Castle reached out to parents via the school's e-mail service with the message posted below:
Good Afternoon Blackrock Families,
Today has been a troubling day in education. For those of you who have not seen the news, there was a devastating school shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those children and families now suffering grief and despair. It is indeed a shame when even our youngest children have to worry that their school may not be the safe place that they deserve and that there are people in the world who cause fear and harm to others.
In light of these events, I wanted to ensure you that we at Blackrock take every precaution to keep our students safe and our building secure against such acts. The school does have a very comprehensive crisis response plan should we encounter a threat and have direct lines of communication with the Coventry Fire and Police Departments. In addition, students practice evacuations and lockdowns on a regular basis. Our custodians check windows and doors for proper function and report any safety issues to the district Physical Plant Department. Please know that we do what we can to keep our community safe each day, every day.
We also understand that should students learn of this tragedy, they will be justifiably concerned or afraid. Our recommendation is that students not be overexposed to the media coverage or conversations regarding the topic as it may not be developmentally appropriate for most elementary aged children. Please use your discretion and reassure students as needed that Blackrock is a safe school. To all of us, safety is our number one priority.
Coventry High School Principal Mike Hobin later forwarded the message to the parents of CHS students, echoing the Castle's promise that the safety of students is the number one priority of Coventry administrators.
"I think her (Mrs. Castle's) words express our thoughts here at the high school," said Hobin. "We also conduct several drills and practice our crisis plan and in recent years, we have made several adjustments to the building to improve our safety plan. Please know that we hold the health and safety of your children as our top priority. Even though high school students will process this tragedy easier than elementary students, it may be advantageous to have a discussion with your son/daughter about the need to have an awareness of the safety and security of all during the school day. "