As our nation mourns the , two leaders in Foxborough education have reacted to the horrific news by issuing letters to parents in the community.
Foxborough Public Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli said the district's counseling staff will be ready Monday morning to talk with any students who may need support in the wake of Friday's
"These events can cause stress and anxiety in children, and their sense of safety may become uncertain," Spinelli said. ... "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the children, families, and staff of that community. It is hard to comprehend such an unpredictable and horrific act."
Foxborough Regional Charter School Executive Director Dr. Mark F. Logan echoed Spinelli's condolences to the Newtown, Conn.
"I am heartbroken for the victims and continue to be amazed at the levels of violence experienced throughout our society and on school campuses," Dr. Logan said in a letter to FRCS parents and guardians. "My thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by this painful incident."
Dr. Logan added that he's aware of the emotional impact Friday's incident may have on students and assured parents FRCS will be ready to offer any support necessary.
"I understand conversations with your children may be difficult when subjects like these immediately invade our lives," Dr. Logan told parents. "Children may have a heightened sense of anxiety, anger, confusion, or sadness; all of which, of course, is normal. While we strive to make our school physically and emotionally safe for our entire school community, tragedies such as the one [Friday] can make us even more sensitive to our well-being and surroundings.
"Please know we have exceptional and talented professionals who can support your children should they have any questions or face trouble understanding or dealing with [Friday's] incident. Should you or your children need to speak with someone here at the school, please notify the central office or your child’s teacher. Our crisis team is equipped to provide a variety of supports for our entire school community, and we remain ready, willing, and able to work with you and your children should the need arise."
Spinelli and Dr. Logan offered the following information to parents who may find their children hearing about the tragedy or seeing it on the news and need to discuss it.
"I would like to provide families a few resources should you need some information on how to address these types of incidents with children," Dr. Logan said. "Please follow these links for specific strategies to consider when you speak with your family."
Spinelli said she has provided some helpful information from the National Association of School Psychologists on the Foxborough Public Schools' website that offers advice for how to talk to your children about violence. Click this link to view the material offered on the FPS website.
In addition to parents searching for the best way to talk to their children about Friday's tragedy, many have asked if their child's school has a plan to respond to tragic events. Both Spinelli and Dr. Logan assured their students' parents that they each take safety very seriously and plans are currently in place.
"We take the safety of our children and staff seriously," Spinelli said. "Please be assured that our schools have specific and proactive safety procedures in place. Our Emergency Response Plans were developed in concert with the Foxborough police department, Foxborough fire department and school safety experts from the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office. School administrators regularly attend the Norfolk County DA’s Office School Security Summits, as recently as this past October. We periodically review our emergency preparedness procedures, and our schools practice safety drills annually."
Dr. Logan offered a similar message to FRCS parents.
"Please know we have an extensive, comprehensive emergency management and crisis plan, developed and coordinated with both state and local law enforcement officials," Dr. Logan said. "This plan includes specific responses to numerous scenarios and is reviewed and tested throughout the year. We take the safety of our entire school community very seriously and have a variety of proactive and reactive measures in place for different emergency situations."
For additional resources on how to talk about Friday's tragedy with your children, click here.