Delaware Valley School District held staff meetings at 7 a.m. Monday morning at all schools to review safety procedures as a precautionary measure. Educators also discussed what would be appropriate to say or not say to kids based on age.
The meeting was in response to the homicide of 26 young students and teachers Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, by a gunman who reportedly used gunfire to break into the locked school.
“Many of our youngest kids know very little about the Connecticut incident,” Superintendent John Bell said. “For them, we want to leave the discussion in the parents’ hands because every family will treat it differently and we want to respect their decisions.”
On Sunday, Bell put a message to parents on the district’s website offering ways for parents to interact with children and underscoring the district’s security.
“Please do not be alarmed if you see an increased police presence on our campuses this week. It is being done as a precautionary measure,” the website message says.
The police are making patrols on all the campuses as a sign that the district wants to deter any trouble and to make parents feel more secure about their children returning to school Bell said Monday.
“We want everything inside the schools to be as normal as possible for the kids while we tighten up things on the outside including state police visits at the Dingman Delaware and Shohola campuses and Eastern Pike Regional Police at the Delaware Valley campus,” Bell told the Pocono Record.
Tightening security outside includes reminding folks about not leaving any doors open, being sure doors close and lock behind you always carrying a radio when taking students outside for recess or physical education.
The district has advice on what parents can do to help children cope with news of the shooting. Advice includes:
Limit exposure to upsetting news
If asked, explain what happened in age appropriate language
Take their fears seriously
Keep your regular schedule