By Dr. Gregory E. Thornton, Superintendent Milwaukee Public Schools
Dear MPS families, By now, you have probably heard about the tragic loss of life of students and staff at an elementary school in Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by Friday’s tragedy.
I want to assure you that your child’s safety is our utmost concern. We have every reason to believe that Friday’s event is an isolated tragedy.
However, as a precaution, all school staff have reviewed their safety plans and been reminded to stay watchful. We continue to review our security measures to make sure we’re taking every measure possible to protect your child.
We also need your help. Remind your child to tell an adult right away if they see or hear anything unusual.
Children may hear about this event from a variety of sources. Our school psychologists have a few suggestions to help.
Talk to your child about this, but consider the age and developmental level of your child as you speak.
Ask open ended questions like, “What did you hear?” or “How are you feeling?”, so you’ll know what your child knows and what his or her concerns may be.
Be calm when talking to your child. Your child will take cues from your reaction.
Reassure your child that adults are there to help them.
Maintain normal household routines, but do not minimize the incident.
Remember that, depending on your child’s age, it may not be appropriate to have him or her watch ongoing media coverage of the event.
If your child is having unusual difficulty handling this tragedy, please contact your school’s social worker or psychologist for help.
Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut is 1,000 miles away from Milwaukee. But today we are drawn closer by our grief and concern.