BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – The following was written by Bronxville Schools Superintendent David Quattrone in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. To submit your own letter to the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events in Newtown break our hearts and challenge our ability to make sense of the world around us. If you shed tears or felt a lump in your throat this weekend, you are not alone. As parents and educators we share a value in the idea of a protected childhood, but events like the Newtown shootings shake us to our roots and force us to confront our vulnerability and our limits. As we try to comprehend what happened, surely we share a deep grief that binds us, one to the other.
Newtown's proximity amplifies our horror and our empathy. That school district, not so different from our own, will need time and resources for many years to come, and I have offered our assistance. The long-term impact is unknown but profound.
As we struggle to understand and to help our children understand what happened, we can turn to other resources and expertise. Here are links to guidance from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Trauma Intervention Programs. Local resources, such as school psychologists and counselors, are available to students, staff, and parents. We assure you that the school staff will remain attentive and vigilant to signs of student distress.
For those concerned about local security measures, please know that our schools continue to carry out a sound safety plan, including entry check points, lockdown drills, surveillance cameras, and security guard services. We have no reason to believe that these tragic events have heightened the risk at our schools. Nevertheless, we have communicated with the Bronxville Police who have already stepped up their presence at the School. Please know that their presence represents a precautionary measure and a way to reassure the public; it does not signify any increased risk or specific problem. We have also made some minor adjustments to our usual protocols for visitors to the school, and we will undoubtedly monitor and reassess current procedures in the weeks ahead.
If you have been following the news, you know that the swift and caring actions of the Newtown faculty and staff saved many lives. We honor their heroism, expressing the shared commitment to the lives of children that is the hallmark of their chosen profession. In the coming days, I hope we all find strength and comfort in our common humanity and sense of community.
Superintendent of Schools
Bronxville Union Free School District