Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers to Newtown, CT

In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we send our prayers and condolences to the faculty, staff, students, parents and community of Newtown, CT.  As we left school on Friday, we knew very little about what happened, and as the weekend progressed, we came to find out such horrible facts and details of the shooting.  In addition, we heard stories of heroism from the staff in their efforts to protect the students.  We all saw first hand that there is so much more that our teachers do for the children that they teach every day.

So How do We Process What Happened? 

How do we talk to our kids about this tragedy?  How can we lessen their fears?  It is critical that you assure your child by acknowledging that this was a terrible act, and at this time we need to direct our thoughts, prayers and actions to supporting our friends in Connecticut.  This can help our children put this event in a better perspective.  With all of the media coverage, it is important that we limit what our students see on the news as it can be difficult for our kids to process.  Our kids need us to help calm their fears, and parents know best how to do this at an age appropriate level.

If you want to make direct contact to the school or financially support families in Connecticut, you can do the following:
  • You can write a letter to the school at
    • Newtown Public School District 
    • 3 Primrose Street,
    • Newtown, CT, 06470
  • You can make a donation through the Red Cross and Newtown Savings Bank
    • (call 1-800-461-0672)
  • You can also donate to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund

We can talk to our children about being prepared if the school were to go into lockdown and the importance of being completely quiet during a lockdown whether it be a drill or the real thing.  We were successful in our lockdown earlier this fall, and your conversations with your child about the purpose of a lockdown can be helpful.  As a parent, you know the best way to talk to your child that helps them understand this event without generating additional worries in their mind.

So what will GES do in the Wake of Sandy Hook?

We will continue to look at our visitor procedures and lockdown procedures to ensure that we are completely safe.  We will find areas that can improve and procedures that we haven't thought of.  For our children, we will have counselors available to talk with them if they have fears at school.
We also have an Upshur County deputy on our campus. The presence of the Sheriff's Office communicates safety and security to all who visit the school.

What if I have Questions?

We definitely want parents to feel comfortable asking questions and offering suggestions.  If you have an idea or question, please give the principal, John Wink, or assistant principals a phone call.  We want you to be completely reassured that your child goes to a safe and secure school.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent lives lost as well as the families affected and the community of Newtown. May God bless them, keep them, and give them peace.

John Wink

1 comment:

  1. I had my husband drop the girls off this morning because as a parent of a kinder and first grader I just couldn't see them walk into school! The fear! The one thing that helped me today was knowing that the girls have two exceptional teachers who care so much for them. I know they would do everything they can to protect my girls. That gives me peace! Thank you! My prayers go out to the loved ones!