Twenty-six lives were taken last Friday morning in that cut America to its core.
That evening, and in the days that followed the Dec. 14 massacre, we heard from a tearful President Barack Obama and solemn law enforcement officials, and were moved by the various television tributes, like Saturday Night Live's "Silent Night" cold open.
Here in Lexington, the questions came fast and furiously. Among the FAQs were inquiries about school security procedures and how to discuss these tragic events with children. Meanwhile, Lexington Public Schools staff was informed of the situation and made preparations in order to be able to communicate with parents and students as needed.
Over the weekend, the Lexington Public Schools also sent home letters to parents and shared literature on talking to children about tragic events like the Newtown school shootings. You can read those materials by clicking on the PDFs posted above.
Additionally, a number of officials released statements. You can read them below.
On Friday afternoon, School Committee Chairwoman Margaret Coppe provided the following statement in an email to Patch:
Today’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has left me, and the entire Lexington School Committee, indescribably saddened and our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.
The Lexington Public Schools staff was quickly informed and began preparing to communicate with parents and with the students when they arrive at school on Monday morning.
Reasonable and prudent security precautions are in place at all schools in Lexington and elementary schools are secured during the school day.
Later Friday evening, Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash weighed in with some words of his own:
We are all shocked and saddened by the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. No words can explain such a horrible act.
In an email to Patch, Ash also said this of school security procedures:
At each K-5 school, school doors at locked when school begins each day. All school principals have been trained in security measures if there is an intruder in the building. The training program was funded by a federal grant and security materials are in each school. Since some measures would undue the security plan itself, we can only share with you general procedures.
And Saturday evening came this, from the Deb Mauger, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen:
On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, I want to convey our shock, horror, and deep sadness over the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. We wish we could provide solace to the parents who have lost their children and to the families who have lost their adult loved ones. Words fail us in response to such a tragic event. We are reminded of the importance of community in supporting each other during this difficult time.