May 24, 2022 Family message

Dear families,

This afternoon we learned of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Reports shared 14 children and one teacher were killed and others injured by an 18-year-old man. Our hearts are broken, especially on the heels of the Tops grocery store mass shooting in Buffalo, New York just over a week ago, in which an 18-year-old man killed 10 people and wounded three others in a racially motivated hate crime. The motives of the Robb Elementary School shooting are not yet known. 

These violent acts, especially ones that take place in community supermarkets and in schools, are especially disturbing and frightening as they could have happened anywhere. In moments like these, we pause to honor those who were lost to such a senseless, hateful act and the victims’ grieving friends and families.

We will continue to support students by providing them with accurate information, opportunities for extra support if needed, and to keep our routines as normal as possible to help students feel secure. You can help your child by simply talking and listening to them. At the end of this message are a few resources you might find helpful in talking with your children about tragic events like this.

We don’t always know how a student will be affected in a crisis, but you know your child the best of anyone. Due to previous similar events or losses, if you feel your child needs to visit with someone, please let your school know.  

Sometimes the only good we can find in such a tragedy is how it reminds us to hug our loved ones tighter and appreciate what we have. It also strengthens our resolve and sense of urgency around providing mental health supports for students.

Resources:

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and TeachersNational Association of School Psychologists

Talking to Kids About Fear and ViolenceMental Health America

How to Talk to Kids About Tragedies in the MediaChild Development Institute

Sincerely,

Dr. Alison Brynelson
Superintendent