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City, school district post responses to tragic shootings

Editor’s Note: The recent shootings at the Clackamas Town Center and in Newtown, Conn., which resulted in the deaths of 28 people (the majority of them children), have led to local officials looking at their respective polices and procedures regarding security measures. Below are responses to the tragic incidents, one posted on the Sherwood School District website on Dec. 14 by Superintendent Heather Cordie, the other written by Captain Ty Halon of the Sherwood Police Department, which will appear in the upcoming issue of the Sherwood Archer, the city’s newsletter:

A message from Superintendent Cordie

Families, staff and community members,

As you likely have already seen on the news, a horrific school shooting occurred in an elementary school in Connecticut today.  We are all deeply saddened by this tragic event.  People often seek information about what they can do to support their children and to better understand the procedures in place to keep their children safe at school.  This is a normal and appropriate reaction in a situation such as this.

The District has worked diligently over the years on our safety protocols, including partnering with local law enforcement.  Our buildings are equipped with updated security features, our schools conduct regular drills and our staff is trained in lockdown procedures.

We have a close partnership with the City of Sherwood and Sherwood Police Department.  We have been in contact with the Chief of Police today and he is committed to maintaining visibility and presence of officers in and around our schools.

 Staff will continue to approach any adult not wearing a staff or visitor badge on any of our campuses.  Please help us by checking in at the main office and wearing a visitor’s badge every time you enter our buildings.

 We wish to remind parents that in the unlikely event of an emergency, the District would communicate with SSD parents using our automated phone system and FlashAlert.net.  Parents can be sure they are prepared to receive prompt communication from the District by doing two things:

1. Ensure that parent phone numbers are up to date with school office staff or in our student information system, eSIS

2. Sign up to receive Flash Alert messages

Below we have posted several links to resources for families to provide guidance on how to support your children during tragic events.  Counselors in each school are also available to support students should they experience anxiety or stress.

Helping Children Cope with a Crisis

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage

This tragedy reminds us that we must do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe and out of harm’s way.  As a mom with a child in this district, tragic events such as this impact me on both personal and professional levels.  Please rest assured the well being of our children is my highest concern.

 We send our deepest sympathies to the students, teachers and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

— Heather Cordie, Sherwood School District superintendent

 

School Safety

The recent events of the school and mall shootings are things we hope never happen and the City of Sherwood Police Department has been and will continue to be vigilant in our training and preparedness for such an event.

More importantly, we are tirelessly working on ways to prevent such incidents from ever occurring. We have been entrusted to keep our children safe from those who wish them harm and as a result we regularly evaluate our operational plans and security measures.

We have a very strong partnership with The Sherwood School District and are always working with them to improve security measures at each school. This includes regular and open discussions with school administrators about potential problems and security measures. I met with each school principal prior to the Winter break and I am always encouraged by their willingness and enthusiasm to work as a team with law enforcement. This collaborative effort is not only demonstrated at the school level but also occurs between Police Chief Groth and District Superintendent Cordie. Both are committed and driving forces in providing the best education, training and preparedness for police officers and school staff. We are not willing to let complacency set in and will always look for ways to improve in providing security for each student in the Sherwood Community.

For additional resources and specific information on how to respond to an active shooter, please visit the City of Sherwood Police website.

— In your service, Captain Ty Hanlon

City of Sherwood Police Department



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