Local school views tragic shooting as teachable moment
Officials at Bettendorf High School made an announcement to students explaining the importance of the Connecticut school shooting to local students and families.
The announcement text was also sent to parents and patrons of the district.
The announcement reminded students that school should be a safe community in which everyone feels valued. It reminded students to report any feelings of being harassed or bullied; and that anyone who has “not managed your own words or actions in a respectful way” to re-commit to more respectful behavior.
This is the announcement made at Bettendorf High School Friday, December 14, 2012:
The following announcement was made this afternoon by BHS principal, Jimmy Casas, via intercom to all students and staff at Bettendorf High School. Attached to this message are resources to aid parents in helping adolescents talk about trauma and loss. Please feel free to contact BHS with any questions or for any assistance – 332-7001. Thank you.
May I have your attention please?
I want to take a few moments to inform our school community of a tragedy that took place today at a Connecticut elementary school. Preliminary reports indicate a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 27 people, most of them elementary school children between the ages of 5-10 years old. The gunman is also dead.
This is a heartbreaking event for the families in Connecticut and our entire nation, including our Bettendorf School community. A tragedy of this magnitude impacts us all. It is also an important time to remind all of us of the role we play in helping one another get through tough times, challenges, and difficulties. While today’s shooter was an adult, it remains a school shooting and therefore a reminder that Bettendorf High School is our school, and each of us – students and adults alike – has a responsibility to ensure people feel safe and valued as a member of our school community. If, at any time, you do not feel safe or you feel bothered, bullied or harassed, please seek out an adult immediately for assistance. We are here to help and serve you. If you have not managed your own words and actions in a respectful way, please take some time to reflect and re-commit to conducting yourself with integrity, dignity, and respect. Managing emotions and words is an important skill, and I encourage you to continue to develop those skills to better your relationships with classmates, teammates, and family members.
The holiday season, coupled with tough economic times, means many adults are under a lot of stress, too. I want to encourage you to help minimize the stress on your parents and guardians during this time as well. Simply helping around the house, taking care of your own responsibilities, and using gentler words are ways you can help your own family.
As more information becomes available regarding today’s shooting, you will likely have more questions or concerns. Our school guidance team is always available to help process situations and feelings. Other adults here in the school community are also willing to support you.
At this time, I ask that we take a moment of silence in support and concern for the all the individuals and families impacted by the events today at Sandy Hook.