I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the events that unfolded last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. It is simply unfathomable.
It touches me on so many levels. As a parent of three children enrolled in the Canton Public Schools, I can only imagine the horror if this had happened at one of their schools. I have friends who are teachers and a sister who is a teacher. I know that all the teachers I know would act as heroically as the teacher heroes in Newtown. I am thankful for all they do for all of our kids.
I find myself wanting to listen to the stories on the news and reading the stories online to find out the details, maybe understand why this could happen. At the same time, although I read all the posts on Facebook with the victims names, the prayers, the petitions.....I cannot bring myself to share or comment on most of them. It is just too overwhelming.
As a country we need to not only have a conversation but also do something to put an end to these tragic shootings. We cannot endure one more school or mall or workplace shooting. Political differences need to be put aside and we need to move forward, starting with the common ground that we all agree that this needs to stop. There is not a one sided solution - the discussion will involve guns, health care, mental health care, education and more.
Here in Canton, we can offer prayers and support to those affected. And we can tend to our own community to help everyone adjust. Superintendent Jeff Granatino has provided information on the Canton Public Schools home page with resources on talking to children about tragic events. Guidance counselors, school psychologists and teachers are all available to address concerns.
It is also sadly timely that Canton is also discussing the proposed new ALICE system which will change the way schools prepare for these types of scenarios. The school department and police department will certainly be working on how to keep our children, teachers and staff safe.
Let's commit to working together towards a solution with open hearts and minds. We owe that to the 26 victims from Newtown.