This is Not Normal!

This is Not Normal!

Another school shooting resulting in student and staff deaths.  This is not normal!  Any words I try to set forth about this senseless violence seem hollow and trite.  I can’t think of what to say.  I only know how I feel:  my heart is heavy and my mind is reeling.  We all know that schools should be sanctuaries for safety and security.  For whatever reason however, no organization is immune to the stark realities of violence in today’s society.

With that being said, I think there are things we can do within our schools that make a tragedy unlikely.  It has to do with relationships, with taking care of each other, and with treating ALL who walk through our doors with respect.  A safe, secure and nurturing environment is essential, and so are the trusting relationships and organizational pride that serve to guarantee it.  As we enjoy these last nine days of school, thank you for continuing to foster those relationships; for making all feel heard, cared for and nurtured.

If you need help talking to your students or if parents reach out to you for help, the National Association of School Psychologists has published:  Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.

Lastly, as everyone plays a critical role in school safety and in the safety of our community, please continue to empower students and staff to say something to a trusted adult anytime and every time something is amiss, or if there are fears or concerns. Assure them that we will listen and act.  Any threat to our students, staff or schools, should be taken seriously and reported to the Great Falls Police Department immediately.

As this is supposed to be the time of year to celebrate success and accomplishments, let’s continue to focus on what is right and good in our world, while sharpening our protective and vigilant mindset.  We can and must do both.

Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.