Schools superintendent, first selectmen reach out to community

Schools Superintendent Bernard Josefsbert of Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools, along with First Selectman Natalie Ketcham and Easton First Selectman Tom Herrrma nn, released this statement on Friday, Dec. 14:

Dear Parents and Citizens,

More than geography connects Easton and Redding to Newtown. As the first reports came in, today’s [Friday’s] horror quickly circuited through family ties and friendships, prompting phone calls and other efforts to reach loved ones at the scene. By mid-afternoon, the scale of the carnage became apparent, triggering feelings that all parents, teachers, principals, public servants and decent citizens share. Those feelings brought the scene home to Easton and Redding.

Throughout the day, communication between the schools and the police was close and constant, resulting in an appropriate level of heightened security in each of our schools. Parents received several e-mails that provided information about building circumstances as well as efforts to see the school day through with as little disruption as possible. During the day and at dismissal, the Redding and Easton police made their presence visible outside of each school building. Parents received from principals “Tips for Talking to Children in a Time of Tragedy,” among other forms of outreach.

School administrators will immediately review security protocols and confer with local officials as soon as practicable to consider additional steps.

All schools will have support personnel available on Monday morning to provide assistance to students as may be required. Parents are encouraged to communicate their concerns to school principals and/or to the superintendent.

At this moment, unavoidable grieving for today’s unimaginable loss must be accompanied by even more powerful forms of caring — for ourselves, for each other, and most especially for our children.

May this season of peace and goodwill restore us.

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