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We Take Student Safety 'Very Seriously,' Franklin Lakes Superintendent Says after Newtown Shooting

A lone gunman opened fire in a Connecticut school Friday morning, killing more than 25 people.

Franklin Lakes Public Schools Superintendent Frank Romano sent the following letter to borough parents following the , on Friday morning: 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As a parent, I join you in your feelings of sorrow, anger, and fear… longing for that next contact with my elementary school-aged son. As a superintendent, I write to you with a confident message of assurance that here at Franklin Lakes Public Schools, we take matters like student safety very seriously. During the course of today and in response to the Connecticut school shooting, I have been in contact with local law enforcement officials as they graciously and conscientiously planned to have additional police patrol cars around our schools at pick-up time.

As you enter the weekend following the tragedy that took place in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, I offer you two resources (attached). The first is titled “Talking to Children about the Shooting.” The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published this document immediately after the July 20, 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting. The second is titled “Talking Points: Helping Youth Following Mass Violence,” similarly published by UBHC’s Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth. The District will be using these same documents on Monday as we prepare teachers to engage students appropriately and as needed.

Regarding our ongoing work to ensure the wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff, please be reassured that in addition to the recent revision of our school safety and security plan; training our administrators, faculty, and staff; running PTA and Board meeting information sessions; upgrading our school security systems; and practicing our school security drills on a semi-monthly basis; we continue to partner with our local emergency response teams. In fact, during the winter months, we will continue our efforts with them by holding tabletop exercise meetings, at which we brainstorm possible scenarios and the strategies that will work best for responding to challenges and protecting our school community.

It’s times like these that catch us off guard, leave us with a multitude of questions, and cause us to yearn for answers. I hope this communication and its accompanying attachments provide you with some consolation, some guidance, and a healthy means for engaging your children in productive conversations.

Sincerely,
Frank Romano, III, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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