Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 17-12-2012

In no way have the previous school shootings been easy or were those children worth less than those from Newtown CT but, this massacre hurt more.  The video of primary aged students being rushed from their school and the pictures of those lost tore at my heart.  How dare someone, anyone, take their hatred out on these children.  How dare they go after our most innocent.  How could they see an elementary school as the target of their vengeance or retribution.  Those children, teachers, and adults lost in Newtown last week break my heart and I am unable to craft words to express the deepness of my sorrow for their families and community that have to rebuild and persevere today.

I praise Sandy Hook’s teachers and staff for being prepared.  Even though so many were lost the heroic acts of so many at Sandy Hook surely saved lives.  I reflect today upon what has become of the teaching profession when we have to expect our teachers to not only be masters of pedagogy but also hand to hand combat.  I grew up in a family of teachers and am married to a teacher.  We all pursued this trade because we believed we can make a difference in young peoples lives. I don’t recall thinking that this difference would be saving their lives as a human shield.  Is this what we have evolved into?  Is this the new normal in education?

Sandy Hook is also a perfect example of when a school does it all right and in the end it does not stop the insanity.  The accounts of their planning, practice, and security measures would put many schools to shame.  They did it right!  Yet, this insane person was still able to gain access and complete his ruthless task.   Must schools install steel doors, bulletproof windows, even more cameras, and restrict access?  These thoughts have swam around in my brain all day as I think about what my school has and has not done.  We have to be diligent.  We have to be prepared.  We have to open our eyes and ears to find those that might be planning such horror.  Yet, as in Sandy Hook it could all be for naught.  The determined shooter may still gain access.  Again, this makes me so sad and confused.  What should we do?  I personally don’t know right now what must be done, but we must do something.

We have been talking to our kids today.  They are scared and confused and we are listening, reassuring, and helping them.  Faculty and staff are talking and looking at our procedures in a new light.  We will be practicing even more.  We will be working to build better relationships with EMS, Fire, and Law Enforcement than we already have.  We will be evaluating our security procedures over the next few weeks to ensure we are prepared as was Sandy Hook.  But, I realize all this cannot guarantee success.  I don’t know what can.  In the end I must just PRAY.  I PRAY for the community of Newtown, the first responders, the families of those that lost a child, teacher and staff, I pray for you.  I PRAY the WORLD will return to a more civilized state where arguments or grief are not satisfied with a gun, but words.  I PRAY for peace.  I PRAY for young lives taken much too soon.

Supt Fastnacht