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Schools react and prepare

After tragedy in Newtown
In response to the recent elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., local superintendents reassured parents that safety procedures are in place.
   In a communication sent out to parents on Dec. 16, School District 509-J Superintendent Rick Molitor stated, "It is hard to understand and comprehend the violence that our country has endured. As a father, educator, and community member, the safety of our children is always my number one priority. I want to assure you that our district is taking these tragic events as a reminder to review our safety policies and procedures."
   "Tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 17), every school in the Jefferson County School District will meet with staff to review our safety policies and procedures along with the support to help our students feel safe," the message, sent out by phone, said.
   "People react in many different ways and we want our community to know we are available to assist students and their families," Molitor said, noting parents could seek counseling help by calling their child's school office.
   On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Culver School District Superintendent Stefanie Garber reported, "We just did a full drill this morning. We've reviewed safety procedures with the entire staff and practiced it with the students."
   Garber also reminded parents, "Our counselors are available to any students, staff and parents who need reassurance."
   In Newton, Conn., on Friday, Dec. 14, a 20-year-old man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 students, ages 6 and 7, and six adult female employees of the school.
   The incident was just days after a man killed two people in a shooting spree at the Clackamas Town Center mall.
   Both shooters eventually killed themselves.