Reeling from the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut, school administrators in Menlo Park and Atherton are increasing security measures on their campuses.
Sue Sartor, principal at said keeping students safe is the number one priority. Her school will focus on preventative measures.
“All visitors on campus must sign in at the office and wear a large visible name badge,” Sartor said.
“Anyone not wearing a badge will be stopped and questioned by staff and will be redirected to the office,” she said. Students will be doing reverse evacuation drills, during which students are funneled into a locked room. The school will be working with the Atherton Police Department to train and prepare. She said that students may be asking questions and said parents should rest assured that all of them would be handled sensitively.
“Our teachers planned to answer questions briefly today, without dwelling on the details,” Sartor said. “Keeping our routines and a sense of normalcy is very reassuring for young children. I encourage you to listen to your children and answer their questions the best you can. Let them know how much you love them and that you will do all you can to keep them safe,” she said.
In the Menlo Park City School District, Superintendent Maurice Ghysels said school administrators will also be working with local law enforcement to review school safety measures. Ghysels said that all of the schools in the district regularly hold lockdown and intruder drills.
“Any significant changes to safety measures will be communicated to parents,” Ghysels said. He expressed sympathy for the families and community of Newton.
“It has made us all realize anew how precious life is, and I’m sure I am not the only parent struck to the core by the devastating losses suffered by so many families,” he said.
Ghysels encouraged parents who need help talking to their child about what the shooting made them feel to talk to their child’s teacher or school counselor Ghysels also shared a list of online resources that you will find here:
- Resources for Coping with Tragedy
- Talking with Kids about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- Talking to Children about School Violence from The American
Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
- National Association of School Psychologists School Safety and Crisis Resources
Also on Menlo Park-Atherton Patch:
NRA Takes Down Facebook Page
Reflections on a Tragedy
Stanford Offers Early Admission to 725 Students
How to Help Families Affected by Newtown School Shooting