NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – In reaction to the death of 26 students and teachers Friday in Newtown, Conn., families with children in the Northbridge School System received Connect Ed emails Saturday reassuring them that emergency procedures are in place to protect children and staff.
However, school administrators will meet Monday with Police Chief Walter Warchol to discuss security procedures and discuss ways they might be improved, Schools Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik said.
At times like this, everyone questions whether something like the Newtown tragedy could happen in the community, Spitulnik said in the letter.
“The doors to all schools are locked at all times during school hours, and anyone entering must be buzzed in by the office. Using the security cameras at the front doors, we will be even more vigilant about who is coming into our buildings,” Spitulnik said.
“Procedures also include a lockdown protocol in the event of an intruder, which we practice on a regular basis,” she said.
At the meeting with the Police Department, Spitulnik said they will review all safety protocols and procedures to make sure everything is being done to keep schools safe.
“While it’s almost impossible to foresee every random act of violence, we will continue to work to do everything within our power to maintain a safe and secure learning environment,” Spitulnik told parents.
In addition to the letter, parents received guidelines on how to talk to their children about violence and tips on how to reassure them that they are safe. A copy of the guidelines is attached below.
“As a parent, I know it’s also important to talk to our children about events like this, answer their questions, and reassure them that our community is a safe place,” Spitunlik said.
The information also has been posted on the school website.
Spitunlik told parents that, if their children are having particular fears, they should contact the child’s teacher, principal or school counselor Monday and they will do what they can to help.
“Events like this school shooting remind us that life is precious, and that the most important things in the world are family, friends and a supportive community. Reach out and give extra hugs to the important people in your life this weekend,” Spitunlik said