Dear Members of the Halifax School Community:
As we reflect on the events that occurred on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, our hearts go out to the families and the community affected by this senseless act of violence. A horrendous tragedy as this deeply affects us as we try to understand the hurt and anguish felt by those families involved, but such a tragedy also leads us to think about the possibilities that if such a horrible event could happen in a quiet community such as Newtown, Connecticut, it could happen to our children in our schools.
I want to assure you that the Halifax Area School District will take all steps that we can to keep our children safe, and although we already have in place safety systems that are considered best-practices in school safety within our country, we will be reviewing our policies and procedures to assure that we are doing all that we can. But as our thinking comes back to our fear that “if it could happen in Newtown, it could happen here,” I ask that we try to bring perspective to our thinking.
We saw on Friday morning that one individual made horrible choices that terribly affected the Newtown community and our whole nation. Yet, on this same day and during the days that have followed, millions and millions of people in our country have been making choices of helpfulness, kindness, and compassion. We do not minimize an event when we stand to see it in perspective, but it does help us to deal with the spiraling thinking that leads us to more fear and more anger. We cannot live in such a constant state of fear and negativity: such a state of mind with do nothing to keep us or our children safer. However, we can choose to be part of the millions and millions of people who each day make good choices to keep our children safe, to help and support one another, and to work to make our world a better place.
If you would like to have more information about how you may be able to answer children’s questions or to speak with children about this event, please see information on our school website entitled "Response to Help Children with a National Tragedy" provided by the National Association of School Psychologists.
As we deal with this tragedy, I hope that our Halifax School Community can help one another and our children to see that the best way to deal with this event is to purposely focus on the good choices that we can make to help one another.
With Kind Regards,
Robert E Hassinger
Halifax Area School District
3940 Peters Mountain Road
Halifax, PA 17032
Office phone: 717-896-3416 ext. 112
Cell phone: 717-648-6879