The following is a message from Huron Valley Schools Superintendent Jim Baker.
Good morning HVS Parents and Guardians:
Like many of you, over the weekend I watched in horror and sadness the unfolding news coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As a school administrator in a community known to be safe and closely knit, I am struggling to come to grips with how this happens and the unfortunate frequency of these types of events.
As a father, I cannot imagine the unbearable grief the families must be experiencing. In parallel, I recognize that our job is to provide the safest possible environment for our students. Following are some important steps we are taking this week and in the weeks to follow.
1. Each building is conducting a review of its emergency plan, including procedures designed to protect students in the event of an active shooter.
2. HVS is conducting an audit of each building’s safety equipment, including cameras and monitors to ensure that they are in proper working order.
3. In each of our buildings, staff members are being provided with the appropriate tools to talk to children about the situation at Sandy Hook, but are not initiating the conversations. In most instances, particularly at the elementary level, our job is to reassure our students that they are in a safe and nurturing environment.
I would also like to remind parents that we are fortunate to have close working relationships with our law enforcement agencies, including the Oakland County Sheriff Department, Milford Police Department and the White Lake Township Police Department. We conduct drills on a regular basis with these agencies and will review the protocols we have in place with each of them. This review will involve the school resource officers we have on a full-time basis at both Milford and Lakeland High Schools.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook drove home the point that regardless of all these activities, there are events that occur that are beyond our control. You have my commitment that we will continue to plan, practice and constantly evaluate our preparedness in order to maximize our students' safety and security.
EXCELLENT RESOURCES for Teachers & Parents
The Best Resources On Talking With Children About Tragedies (compiled by Larry Ferlazzo)
A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope (Nat’l Association of School Psychologists-NASP)
Mr. Rogers on Tragic Events in the News (especially good for young children)
Helping Children Cope After a School Shooting (Children’s Nat’l Medical Center)
School Safety: Tips for Administrators (NASP) Coping With School Crisis: Helping Students with Special Needs(NASP)
Are you satisfied with the security at your child's school? What else do you think can be done to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting?