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School Chief: 'Courage and Normalcy are Often the Best Responses to Loss and Adversity'

"Schools have always been the safest of places for children and we will do everything possible to ensure that they continue to be so." - John Tindall-Gibson

 

This message was sent out as a CodeEd alert to parents, staff and faculty in Naugatuck on Saturday night: 

This is School Superintendent John Tindall-Gibson with a message concerning the tragedy in Newtown and school security measures in Naugatuck.

Our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence. Words cannot describe the sadness and loss that everyone feels.  This tragedy will continue to fill our thoughts and prayers for a very long time. On Monday in all Naugatuck schools there will be a moment of silence in respect for those who were lost and all who knew and loved them. All school flags are at half-mast.

Students should attend school as scheduled next week in Naugatuck. Courage and normalcy are often the best responses to loss and adversity. On Monday, school support staff, including psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses, and other professionals will be watchful and available for any students who are struggling and need assistance.

I have been in discussions with the Mayor, the Police Chief, the School Board Chairman, and others concerning measures needed in Naugatuck following this tragic event. We want you to know that over the next few days we will assess current security protocols for the schools and make any adjustments that would ensure greater safety for students and staff. We will also cooperate fully with guidelines, training, and other assistance that we anticipate will be made available through state and federal offices.

Schools have always been the safest of places for children and we will do everything possible to ensure that they continue to be so.

Thank you and have a good evening.

Tammy December 17, 2012 at 01:06 AM
There are no safety measures at the High School! You can come and go throughout the day; Visitors or students..anything going to change there?
Tammy Lynn December 17, 2012 at 02:22 AM
We need an officer in every school from now on. Im sure all taxpayers would agree.
Robert December 17, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Maybe we should start by getting security guards who actually do something when necessary. All they do is sit around in the hallways at the high school.
Bruce December 17, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Giant waste of money for a false sense of security.
Bernadette Nata December 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I just emailed the school board in Florida where NO safety measures are in tact.. You can just open the door and have free clearance to the front entrance lobby. Florida needs some safety measures in their school, that's for sure. Regardless the issue of security guards they should be carrying guns. Buzzards at entrance and when verification of early or sick dismissal ir received, or expected visitors show up the relevant departments send their data to the front by email. Once received by the front lobby a print out is made and the lobby office personnel use their verifies with data at hand and lets them in.. If no expected visitor arrives regardless if related to school employee or not, then the guard will be notified to come to the front and the employee or paged person who knows the outside visitor will identify identity and security guard with gun will be present to offer security with verification. Also schools need emergency sirens outside as well as inside with surveillance cameras above in case they are set off without an emergency. Another suggestion is extra security guards with guns at our ball games in case of electrical problems(lights out) or when violence erupts. Quick pat downs at the gates.
Colleen December 18, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I have a 6 year old in the Naugatuck school system and was not planning on telling her about the Sandy Hook incident. I was able to keep all news reports off and was careful to be sure noone spoke about it in my childs presence. Upon receiving the above Red Alert on Saturday that indicated that a Moment of Silence was to be observed as well as counselors being available, I felt I now needed to tell her what happened so she would not be confused on Monday with the different things going on. I spoke to my daughter after school yesterday and surprisingly, nothing at all was mentioned in school. I am disgusted with the Naugatuck Board of Education. My child is already showing signs of stress and fear and to find out that the choice of telling her about this horrible incident was taken from me and not even accurate makes me livid. To top it off, there was NO increased security at the schools on Monday. I feel the Naugatuck Board of Ed really failed on this, one of the most important things to happen to school age children. Have we learned NOTHING about crisis management in the past few years? This was poorly handled and the Board should be ashamed of their response to this.

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