Schools' Soul Searching To Protect Children

Moraga district sends email to parents with advice on what to tell children about the Connecticut school tragedy.

The mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday horrified the nation and left parents questioning how they can protect their children.

Twenty-seven people were killed—the majority of them children between the ages of 5 and 10—at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The violence is the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Moraga Schools Superintendent Bruce Burns sent an email to parents Friday with advice:
"Please keep the following in mind as your children raise questions about what they may have heard or seen:

  • Share known information – be factual, but brief.
  • Acknowledge children’s feelings (sadness, surprise, etc.)
  • Reassure your children that they are safe. These types of situations are very rare. Let your children know that you have confidence in the adults that are in charge of protecting them.
  • Limit TV exposure — Repeated images and stories of horrific events can be very problematic. Children sometimes cannot differentiate between a report on a single event and one that appears to be repeated over and over.
  • As quickly as possible, engage children in the normal routine.
  • If your child is experiencing significant emotional distress over this issue, please let us know so we can provide any needed support."

Burns said counseling would be available for students.

Security measures

Schools are perceived as a safe place for kids, though few have security measures in place to defend against violence like what happened at Sandy Hook School.

The school's doors are locked at 9:30 a.m., and visitors are required to sign in, according to the Sandy Hook School website. When violence erupted Friday morning, the school went on "lockdown," according to media reports. That means teachers and staff locked students inside classrooms rather than risk evacuation.

Stories of heroic teachers and school staffers at the school have emerged. One teacher locked all of her students in a closet to protect them, the Huffington Post reported.

Parents were notified by a reverse 911 call that went out to all Newtown public school families, NBC reported.

The Sandy Hook shooting also has pushed gun control into the national spotlight again.

Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco/San Mateo who has been an advocate for stricter bans on assault rifles in California, sent condolences to the children and families of Newtown.

“In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies," Yee said in a prepared statement. "While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder.”

The story of the ongoing investigation into the shooting is on Newtown, Conn. Patch.

Patch has a compilation of news coverage of the Connecticut tragedy.

KFrances December 15, 2012 at 03:48 AM
She might have had guns becasue she was scared of her son...it doesn't matter - it was her right to have guns as an American Citizen. Period. Does everyone want only the criminals and nutcases to have guns ? The government wants an unarmed populace. They need to win the PR war. Propoganda comes in many forms - ie. paid op eds, paid schills...paid bloggers..the Government will save you...right at Christmas oh I mean Holiday time. People are sweetly and sadly naive... domesticated. The World Bank/UN is in charge now and they are coming for the guns.
Jose December 15, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people. Guns just make it very convenient, requiring little to no thought to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time.
CJ December 15, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Quite the contrary. All of these types of crimes demand intense thought and planning, to think otherwise is blind to the facts.
Jose December 15, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Quite right. It takes a lot of planning to enter an elementary school with weapons. Not just anyone can do that.
Jose December 15, 2012 at 05:57 AM
CJ: May I suggest you make your case for shooting animals that you don't need for food with an AK-47 or sniper rifle on a day when there aren't 20 bloody corpses of children on the ground.
Dive Turn Work December 15, 2012 at 07:38 AM
What a truly stupid and moronic comment. As of earlier this evening, the bodies of those murdered children were still lying on the classroom floor and you're using the incident to promote your psychotic and irrational rants.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 08:00 AM
...and Drones Don't Kill People. Governments with Drones Kill People. Drones just make it 'very convenient to kill, requiring little to no thought to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time...' A 16 year old American Citizen was killed by a drone - ordered by this administration. Did any one hear a word about this ? Why not ? Governments will take as much power as they can get away with...they always have, and they always will...and it will be sneaky and wrapped in propoganda. This administaration stating it's 'heartbroken' rings a little hollow, as they sneak in gun control language - Today - 'Never let a good tragedy go to waste...' Try Drone Control First.
Dr Green December 15, 2012 at 08:11 AM
Chris...you did not meet your intent
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 09:49 AM
Nice patronization....well - sorry but when this article is tagged 'gun control' & there are calls for gun control instantly all the way up and down our over-reaching government - today - now is the time to defend people's right to defend themselves... The government has drones, spying, inventory, your kids, your DNA, your money, your healthcare with death panels (IPAB) and wants your guns...So...it's sad but it's clear, why wouldn't they take that last power ? which is guns...how exactly would they get the public on thier side? Something's wrong with this picture.
Dive Turn Work December 15, 2012 at 01:31 PM
This comment is as absurd as the decision making skills exhibited by the CEOs of US automakers when they took private jets to DC to ask for a bailout. The committee awards you no points.
Dive Turn Work December 15, 2012 at 01:32 PM
KFrances, not since the introduction of the Edsel have I seen anything so absurd as your comment.
Death and Taxes December 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Assault weapons do not have a place in hunting...and the thought of 'protecting oneself' with an assault weapon could only occur in what most would consider bizarre 'end of day' scenarios. Has been a significant number of cases (or even one) where someone prevents a home invasion with an assault rifle? They have little if any legitimate use in a non-military/police scenario. Handguns also are not used for hunting. A legitimate use is target shooting for sport...maybe there are others but they do not come to mind. Handguns are made small so they can be concealed and primarily to kill people (vs animals for hunting). Although more difficult, I believe the focus of gun control should be on these weapons ( an automatic assault weapon ban already seems imminent). People will argue that they need these weapons to protect themselves and that they have a right to bear arms. I see this argument and have some personal conflict on this 'right' as 'free' Americans. This right, though, is beginning to infringe on others through such appalling violence that one has to reevaluate whether the founding fathers are rolling in their graves, if they could see current events, saying 'this is not we intended.' 'The Right to Bear Arms' to me is like those sighting the bible phrase 'an eye for an eye' when justifying retaliation...even the most staunch bible literalists use that phrase to justify violence anymore.
Chris Nicholson December 15, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The clear intent of the 2nd amendment is for citizens to have the kind of arms that were typical of common foot soldiers. A semiautomatic center fire gun with a 20-30 round clip today is analogous to the musket of 1776. Ditto for side arms. The Founding Fathers intended us to have the right to bear arms for purposes of (lawfully) killing people, not just for hunting. A contrary interpretation is nonsensical. The wishful thinking that the 2nd amendment only extended to states and militias was swept away recently by the Heller and McDonald Sup. Ct. cases.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM
and who exactly is 'The committee' ? who gets to decide who gets points and why ? Al Gore and NGO's fly jets all over the world for conferences to protect the environment by taxing the air you breathe - humans are bad for the environment...so exactly who is absurd ? Yes the CEOS taking private jets for bailouts...but also the people in charge who are saving the planet...one drone kill at a time.
Dive Turn Work December 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
The committee's decision is final.
Chris Nicholson December 15, 2012 at 05:09 PM
My prejudiced assumption seems to be wrong. This morning's news reports that the mother was "an avid gun collector." I still think she should have kept the gus in a safe that the troubled son did not have access to.
Katharine Austin December 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Beautifully stated. Thank you Jose. Also we should not leave out the essential piece of strengthening of our mental health care system. We should be making that case today and every day.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The title of this article is 'Schools' Soul Searching to Protect Children' Money and Control on the way up and the way down... Say no to RFID chips that keep kids 'safe': http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/rfid-chip-student-monitoring/ Say no to black boxes, smart boxes and human settlements (human corridors Agenda 21 - Wildways) Say no to pesticide laced 'terminator' corn seeds that need more Roundup, and when you need a pill for what ails you, there will be a pill for that...$ on the way in and $ on the way out... Say no to RFID chips that track flu shot recipients: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/11/21/boston_launches_flu_shot_tracking/ When people realize that Prop. 30 is retroactive and that in 2014 you will need a perscription to buy Advil, people might start realizing they are being inventoried and manipulated and used. There is not a lot of soul searching going on by our 'government' schools... Protecting 'the children' ? : http://www.militarytimes.com/news/2012/12/marine-taliban-kids-120312w At best... it's about money and control.... and at worst it's about a spiritual vsion of The Sigularity...where the world's children belong to all of 'us' ... and the Singularity Institute is right there on Moffett field...go figure... Implementation will not look like Implementation.
Bailey Lee December 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Don't confuse the issue with facts, Chris. It won't work.
Chris Nicholson December 15, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I concur with the Committee's scoring.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 06:19 PM
The 'Responsibility to Protect Doctrine'... ...it's all very civilized.... and never let a good crisis go to waste - 14 secs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs6TgitlNIA or legislate the devaluing of a human life : go to .59 secs where Dr.s are concerned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiXne-eP7vM oh yes Eugenics soul searching going on by a committee near you...
Charlotte December 15, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Amen Jose.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Well....our president found it okay to talk about it the day of ...so maybe he should read Jose's comment...& newborn's dna is already collected and saved forever and sold and bartered all over the world....and screened for mental illness, which is a much more convenient way of dealing with 'problem' humans and less expensive too ... How many corpses of children are on the ground in Afganistan, Libya, Syria and why did we hear nothing of the killing of a 16 year old American Citizen orderd by the American Government...why did we hear NOTHING about it.
Dive Turn Work December 15, 2012 at 06:51 PM
KFrances, not since Philip Morris said smokers' deaths had a positive effect have I read writing as absurd as your comment.
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 07:43 PM
just look it up...it's not absurd...it's all verifiable...& I'm a UC grad who never took a dime of financial aid...sorry to be the bearer of bad news...Bay Area Newborn DNA is stored indefinitiely and DNA has been traded for lab equiptment and turned over to the Federal Government... http://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=department+of+health+service+srichmond+ca&oq=department+of+health+service+srichmond+ca&gs_l=hp.3..0i13j0i13i30j0i13i5i30l2.534.13350.0.13486.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1355325884,d.cGE&fp=5e8b8c2eb5670d45&bpcl=39967673&biw=1366&bih=622 So...no it's not absurd & yes we have every right to be concerned about being manipulated...
KFrances December 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
and is anyone REALLY surprised that there was a mass shooting so early in the lame duck term...& so close to Christ-mas...there's a lot to legislate (like Russia)and not a lot of time... and CBS News points out that Obama and Bush are blood relatives...who knew ? ...and Cheney and oh there is a lot that is not what it appears...: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500202_162-3424359.html
Dive Turn Work December 16, 2012 at 12:29 AM
KFrances not since A&F decided to release thong panties for 10 to 14 year old girls have I heard an idea as absurd as yours.
Bailey Lee December 16, 2012 at 06:08 AM
That's not what this study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy says: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf But then again facts are usually not as newsworthy as sensationalism and, of course, hidden agendas.
lovelafayette December 16, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Live WITH a gun, die BY a gun is the risk EVERY gun owner takes. NYT reveals this woman as an avid gun collector, who took her boys to the shooting range for a fun family acitivity. Her hobby and choice of family activities enabled her son to commit mass murder. I shed no tears for her. The question is how to protect the rest of us from idiots like her who live with a mentally ill family member in a home that teaches gun play and is full of guns.
Chris Nicholson December 16, 2012 at 05:55 PM
OMG! Did you just write that? Are you freaking serious? You shed no tears for a woman murdered by her crazed son BECAUSE SHE OWNED GUNS. If you believe that then you are a monster, blinded by your zeal. Look, if the facts show that she knew of her son's violent potential and also failed to keep her guns locked up, then I would say that people like that should be punished. But to say that summary execution is an appropriate consequence is just shocking.


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