LPS Provides Tips for Talking to Kids About Newtown Tragedy

A letter sent home to parents – and shared here – provides “some words of support over the weekend should this event come to your child’s attention. And an email sent Saturday morning provides age-appropriate guidelines for talking to children about tra


“Shocked” and “saddened” are words many have used to describe , on Friday, Dec. 14, and the Lexington Public Schools are no different.

“We are all shocked and saddened by the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut,” Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash wrote in an email to Patch. “No words can explain such a horrible act.

Explaining school security standards, Ash said at each K-5 school, the school doors at locked when school begins each day. And all school principals have been trained in security measures should an intruder enter the building.

“The training program was funded by a federal grant and security materials are in each school,” Ash said. “Since some measures would undo the security plan itself, we can only share with you general procedures.”

Ash also shared an email sent home yesterday with students in grades K-5, which provides some tips for talking to kids about the tragedy should it come up over the weekend. On Saturday morning, the schools sent out an email with more age-appropriate guidelines for talking to students of all ages.

You can read the full text of both letters in the PDFs posted above.

The Hastings version of the Friday letter says the school does not plan to start discussions about the tragedy, but staff “will respond to student worries but will not dwell on the details.”

The four suggested steps provided in the letter are below:  

  1. Limit your child’s exposure to the news, video and internet discussions of this event.  Children do not need to see images of their frightened peers. 
  2. Be mindful of your own reaction to the tragedy and the conversations that you are having around your children.
  3. If you choose to talk with your child about this event, listen carefully to what your child is asking, provide short answers, steer away from talking about the details, and focus on your child’s understanding of the things in place to keep him/her safe.
  4. If your child asks, what can I do to help, consider writing a kind note to children in the school or make a card for someone who is injured. (We will keep you posted as we explore additional ways we can help).


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