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No Moment of Silence Monday in Bridgewater Schools

Superintendent says it is important to return to normalcy, especially for K-4 students.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder released another statement Sunday evening, emphasizing that the district is not planning a moment of silence or review of the events of Friday's tragedy in Connecticut so as to try and return to a semblance of normalcy for students.

Below is Schilder's complete statement:

Dear Parents, Community, and Staff,

I know this has been a difficult weekend for everyone and Monday will not be any easier. I did want to follow up Friday’s e-blast with more details on how the day and the rest of the week will be handled. 

We are going to take a cautious and careful approach with students, especially at the K-4 level. I believe that in times of stress or crisis, children are best served by returning them to the comfort of their normal routines as soon as possible. Therefore, there will be no review of the event and no moment of silence. If a student needs to ask questions or expresses concerns or fear, his/her teacher will handle this in a sensitive and forthright manner, giving enough information to assure the student that he is safe. If a child is upset, counseling services will be available and parents will be called. Buildings with multiple counselors are on call to send counselors to other sites if needed. District administrators, including myself, will be circulating to all schools to assist where needed.

All district-wide meetings where teachers would be pulled from their classrooms or counselors, CST members or administrators pulled from their buildings are cancelled for the entire week. Again, we want to keep all personnel in their regular assignments so that routines are maintained. 

No previously scheduled lockdown drills will be held. 

Principals will convene School Safety or Crisis Management teams on Monday morning. Agenda items will include, but not be limited to, a review of current building safety and security procedures (previously sent to all staff on Friday), an assessment of the emotional state of students and staff, and any recommendations for safety and security enhancements. Minutes of these meeting will be sent to me by the end of the day on Monday and reviewed with the Board Facilities Committee on Tuesday.

Finally, some parents have asked for resources to help them discuss this topic with their children. Two websites were recently sent to me. I cannot attest to their value or accuracy and ultimately, how your handle the tragedy with your child, is a very personal decision. But I did want to include these:

http://www.apa.org/topics/violence/school-shooting.aspx

http://www.pennsbury.k12.pa.us/pennsbury/QUICK%20LINKS/IMPORTANT%3A%20Information%20for%20Parents%20on%20Speaking%20with%20Children%20About%20Tragedy.pdf

While tomorrow will not be an easy day, it will be an opportunity for students to get their minds back on academics, enjoy the support of their friends and return to the comfort of their teachers who care deeply about them.

Sincerely,

Mike Schilder
Superintendent

Comet December 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
A moment of silence doesn't sound unduly disruptive of the academic day. Not acknowledging this tragedy as a community and the rush to normal seems a little like "let's pretend it didn't happen."
Comet December 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Shouldn't there be some acknowlegement of this terrible tragendy? I don't know if the school has already acknowledged it, but a moment of silence does not seem imappropriate, or particularly disruptive to the day. "Return to normalcy" sounds a little like "let's pretend this didn't happen."
BRSoccer December 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I agree with Comet. Why not have a moment of silence. This shooting took place in a school and what better way to show support than to have the students of our school districts pause in a moment of silence. It is not only a show of support but a show of respect. If this is thought to be upsetting at the elementary school level, at least allow the middle and high schools to show their respect. I'm very disappointed with this decision.

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