Superintendent Burr says school safety will be assessed in wake of Newtown tragedy

Superintendent Freeman Burr sent out condolences to Sandy Hook victims Friday and said Shelton Public Schools will be assessing security of each facility in wake of the horrific shooting.

Burr wrote a message to parents, students and the community at SheltonPublicSchools.org.

“There are no words of comfort or solace that I can express or offer to relieve the deep sorrow we feel in the aftermath of this horrific event,” Burr wrote. “We, as educators, mourn the loss of young children … our children, and colleagues who were going to school or work today in anticipation of the holiday soon to be upon us. A holiday that will be forever associated with the loss of a future denied.”

Burr said that school security in Shelton is not just the job of security personnel and administrators, but that everyone has a role.

“The repercussion of this event will result in the Shelton Public School System joining with Police, Fire, Emergency personnel and public officials to assess the security of each of our facilities and determine how we may upgrade them,” Burr wrote. “This is type of action that most school districts in America followed in response to Columbine and 9/11.”

“Also, we will seek and need input from our respective school site personnel as part of the solution going forward. We need to keep in mind that many of our school facilities were constructed at a time when we were not trying to keep people out,” Burr said. “Thus, we must evaluate internal security measures within each facility to help determine effective security practices at each school.”

Burr said that school crisis teams will be ready on Monday for all students and staff.

Shelton Public Schools canceled all Friday afternoon activities.

The following is an emergency announcement Shelton Schools released earlier today:

“Reports from the Newtown School Systems outline an alleged shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Newtown Schools are on lockdown. Shelton Schools have been alerted and exterior access to all school buildings are being currently monitored. No outside student activities will be conducted on school grounds until more information is received by Shelton district officials. Shelton Schools are not on lockdown but school personnel are being hyper-vigilant concerning school access and student activities outside of school buildings until more details are shared concerning this alleged incident.”

According to State Police Lt. Paul Vance police were called to the school for an active shooter after 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 14.

Vance said 18 children were pronounced dead at the scene and two children died after arrival at the hospital. Six adults were also killed.

Vance said the investigation is active and there is a lot of work to do.

President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the tragedy, offering any resources needed for the investigation. He held back emotion as he spoke about the lost lives.

“While nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend the hand to those in need,” the president said.

Schools in Newtown, Monroe and Bethel were in lockdown.

Earlier Friday, the Internet is being flooded with contradictory information regarding the number of casualties and status of the situation.

NBC Connecticut, WVIT, is simulcasting its live coverage from the scene at NBCConnecticut.com


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