Dear Parents & Staff:
We are all deeply saddened by the tragedy in Florida yesterday. These repeated high profile acts of violence have a profound effect on each and every one of us, especially in schools.
Our students will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and staff can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, and talking with them about their fears. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends the following strategies:
- Reassure children that they are safe.
- Make time to talk.
- Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
- Review safety procedures.
- Observe children’s emotional state.
- Limit television viewing of these events.
- Maintain a normal routine.
More details are provided in the NASP handout, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF) and as an Infographic (PDF).
Incidents like what happened on Wednesday remind us all about the importance of preparation and continuous improvement. Each campus regularly practices safety drills to prepare for various scenarios. Students, parents, staff, and community members are all encouraged to report safety threats using a tip line operated in cooperation with SafeOregon.com.
As we learn more about what led up to this latest incident, we expect conversations to continue—nationally and locally—so that we can do everything possible to protect our students and staff.
Safety is our top priority, and Oregon City School District will always work to provide a safe and supportive learning environment. Our hearts go out to the grieving families and community of Parkland, Florida.
Larry Didway, Superintendent
Oregon City School District No. 62