Dear East Grand Community,
I am sending this to you now because I am sure that the terrible news out of South Florida is continuing to affect us all. It is becoming to common that school shootings and violence seem so prevalent in our world today. We hope that the community and families of Parkland can recover from this tragedy and that this event will create change than can save many future lives.
While events such as this – and other recent similar incidents – happen, much of the attention is placed on the criminal and those that are no longer with us. But, we should also remember, in these darkest moments we also hear stories of incredible kindness, love, heroism, and humanity.
With what seems like a rash of school violence recently, it feels like sending our children to school is always a risk. However, our schools are one of the safest places our children can be. Schools create an environment where kids learn and experience life. School is where our children make friends, feel the joy and value of gaining knowledge and realizing success, take part in activities that have a life-long positive impact, have access to music and the arts, and so much more.
East Grand Schools works very hard to make our schools as safe as they can be and we take school safety very seriously. While we cannot guarantee a tragedy will not happen here, with awareness, community partnerships, practice and planning we can do our best to avoid or minimize any potential disaster.
What can we do as educators, parents and community members? We can help our students in various ways: If you, or a student in your life is struggling, please take some time to talk about these thoughts and feelings. Here are some resources to guide you:
• Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
• Tips: Talking to Children After Traumatic Event
We all know strong communication and watching out for each other is the best safety measure for our children, students, staff, and our entire community. Students as well as adults can go to www.Safe2Tell.org or call 877-542-7233 to anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens them, their friends, family, or school community. Law enforcement and East Grand administration monitors this important source of information constantly to provide supports for students in crisis. All of us have a responsibility to tell school administrators if we have information that may affect the safety of our students or staff.
Please take the time necessary to talk with the young people in your life about this issue. Processing and understanding are important steps to healing. Let us make sure we are there to support our students and each other through this difficult time.