The senseless act of violence recently at an elementary school in Connecticut generates fear and concern for everyone. As school employees, students, parents and the community, we all expect a school setting to be a safe place.
A school incident such as this reminds everyone of the importance of having safety protocols in place. Hopefully, the protocols can prevent a terrible situation from happening but should a situation occur, it is crucial that safety measures are well known by students, staff and parents. ISD 88 schools regularly practice lockdown drills so students and staff know what to do and to minimize panic in emergency situations. In addition to regular staff, volunteers and substitutes need to fully understand the practices and procedures to be used in emergency situations.
The Connecticut school incident provides an excellent opportunity for parents to initiate discussions with their children about school safety and security. Students may be anxious about what they se##e on television for fear it could happen at their school site. Family circle discussions about violent acts in and around the school setting can provide a healthy atmosphere to help the child should a crisis occur.
ISD 88 is concerned about the safety of all children attending our schools. One never knows what motivates a person to commit such violent acts. Students and adults alike, need to remember that small acts of disrespect can lead to violence. Conversely, small acts of kindness and peacemaking h#ave the power to stop violence and create peace.
ISD 88 schools have implemented programs designed to develop approp-
riate actions to build positive relationships with others. A program known as Character Counts is practiced at Washington Elementary and New Ulm High School. Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) is a part of the Jefferson School program aimed at improving relationship decision making.
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are extended to the families and the schools in the Newtown, Connecticut community.