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Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Superintendent Hardy Murphy sent a letter to parents this afternoon saying the schools here are stepping up security measures in the wake of the shooting incident at a Connecticut elementary school today that left more than two dozen people dead.

Murphy also urges parents to talk with their children about the incident and offered a link to information resources about how to discuss such incidents with children.

Here’s the text of his letter:

December 14, 2012

Dear District 65 Families,

Today our hearts are heavy with the news coming out of Connecticut concerning the elementary school shooting.  This senseless act of violence as well as the recent incidents of violence in our own community prompted me to place all of our schools on alert to ensure that we are maintaining a high level of vigilance during this very disturbing time.  I have asked our principals to talk with their students about the procedures they are expected to follow during any emergency in order to be safe.

I know that it is difficult to shelter our young children from tragic stories in the media.  They may have questions that are hard to answer because there is no way to make sense of this kind of tragedy.  You know your child best. If they talk to you, please reassure them that we are doing what we can at school to keep them safe.  If you believe that they need additional support on Monday, let your child’s principal know so that arrangements can be made for them to speak with the school social worker. 

I reached out to the Evanston Police Chief and the Skokie Police Department to ask for a more visible presence in and around our schools. We also have engaged the services of our school security company to visit our schools over the next week or so.  These are precautionary measures to help our students, staff, and faculty feel safe at school and are also being undertaken to create heightened vigilance.

It will be important for you to have conversations with your child about how to be safe. There are some resources online at the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (www.nctsn.org) that may help you in that regard.  I know that you, as I, are simply devastated and heartbroken over the events that have transpired this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Sincerely,

Hardy Murphy, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. really hope we don’t do lock down drills today

    It is too soon and will be too scary if they do it today.  Maybe wait a few days.  Maybe tell the kids the drill is coming so they don't freak out?

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