Editor's Note: the following letter from Superintendent Robert Tremblay about the shootings in Newtown, CT was sent out to parents whose children attend Milford Public Schools. The following resources for speaking with children about the tragedy will be published on the district's website.
As we try and make sense of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT and at the same time try to answer our children's questions that have no real answers, the Milford Public Schools are committed to providing as many resources to you as we can to help you discuss a difficult topic like this with your children.
When a tragedy like this strikes, everyone's sense of safety and security can become uncertain. I want to assure you that our team of administrators, teachers, school resource officers, security personnel, and mental health professionals stand ready to help you and your children process this senseless act of violence.
Safety and security in our schools remains our top priority in Milford. In the upcoming days, we will continue to work with local authorities to maintain a vigilant watch and focus to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, and staff in all of the buildings. I would like to thank Chief Tom O'Loughlin and his team for their continued strong partnership with the Milford Public Schools.
Resources that will help guide you on how to help your children process/deal with tragedy will be made available on the district website and through each of the school offices. Support staff will be on hand and ready to assist should you or your child need any added support.
Should your child exhibit any unusual fears that you feel his or her school should know about over the next week, please contact your child's guidance counselor, adjustment counselor, teacher, or principal. We will be happy to work with you to address these issues.
Life is precious – the holidays are difficult for many – may we all be reminded of what's really important – family, friends, and caring for one another. Our hearts go out to the staff and students and their families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I wish all of you peace during this holiday season.
Robert A. Tremblay, Superintendent
Milford Public Schools
Available Resources: [See attached PDFs]
Strategies for Talking and Listening – PBS Parents
Tips on Talking to Kids About Scary News – CNN
How to Talk to Kids about Tragedies in the Media – Child Development Institute
Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety – NMHA
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers - NASP