This afternoon Dr. Tom Harwood, Superintendent of Grosse Pointe Public Schools, posted a letter on the district's website addressing parents of students and the concerns that many have about school safety in the wake of the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school today.
Here is the letter in its entirety:
December 14, 2012
RE: The safety of our students is our first priority
To the parents of children in our Grosse Pointe Public School System:
Our hearts go out to the Newtown, Connecticut community on this sad day. As our GPPSS families determine the best way to discuss this tragic event with their own children, please know that the safety of our students is always paramount. We collaborate closely with our local law enforcement to ensure the safety of our children and staff. We have valid and detailed safety plans for all of our schools. And, we keep all school doors locked during the school day with buzzers to ensure only appropriate adults have the ability to enter our buildings. We have many scheduled classroom and school activities in the coming week, so please keep our entry process to the building in mind as you wait to be buzzed into the school. To the best of our ability, we closely monitor the entrance of outside adults in our buildings to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for our families, our students, and our staff.
As additional information is shared through the media, your child may be exposed to the reality of what has sadly taken place in Connecticut. The first thing that they will wish to obtain from you is an assurance that you are providing the support they need to be safe. They may ask questions and it would be important to answer their questions based on their level of understanding. If you need any assistance from our principals and counseling staff, please let us know and we can provide guidance and communication to you.
It is with a great deal of sadness that I bring this news to you and my thoughts go out to the many families that are suffering from a senseless act of violence.
Dr. Thomas Harwood
Grosse Pointe Public School System