Tragedy at Sandy Hook, Conn., Brings Sadness to All

Dec 20th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Top Story

BY DR. BELINDA SHOOK

Beebe Schools Superintendent

The shooting in Newtown, Connecticut is one of the saddest events to take place in the three decades of my educational career and has literally shaken educators throughout the country, state and the local community. It is incomprehensible to those who care for children, how anyone could deliberately cause harm to innocent young lives.  This recent activity clearly shows that some things are out of our control. In general, educators feel a huge sense of protectiveness over the children they teach. I believe the educators who died protecting their students at Sandy Hook Elementary are true heroes, and they represent educators all over the United States who would react the same way to protect children, if put in such a horrendous situation.

Research shows that schools are safe and less than one percent of violent deaths are “school associated.”  (National Association of School Psychologists, 2012)  Implementing security measures capable of preventing random acts of violence, as that committed by the mentally unstable, disturbed individual in Connecticut, seems impossible. Nevertheless, this week, the Beebe School District will begin conducting a formal review of all school safety policies and procedures to ensure the district is doing everything possible to provide a safe and secure environment.

In the upcoming weeks, the district will review the district crisis plans, safety policies and procedures, as well as, the school disaster plan. All district administrators will conduct a review of the policies for each building and consider input from teachers and parents.

The district has many procedures already in place to which we will strictly adhere. School buildings have limited access, with entry only through the front doors. All other entrances will be locked during the day. Any visitors to the school should sign in and wear a visitor’s badge. In addition, students should only be picked up in appropriate pick-up areas with duty staff present. If you have questions about specific procedures, please contact the building administrator.

Senseless violence is difficult to grasp and it is important to understand the big difference between possibility and probability.  Communication is critical between the home and school. Therefore, if parents have concerns, questions, or suggestions, please contact your building administrator. Safety is, and will always be, the first priority of the Beebe School District.

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on Pg. 3.