SHREWSBURY, Mass. -- To help prevent a tragedy like the Newtown, Conn. school shooting from happening in Shrewsbury, School Superintendent Joseph Sawyer announced Wednesday that a committee will form in January to “provide expertise and guidance regarding how we can further strengthen our practices in order to promote a safe and secure school environment.”
Sawyer said that some school safety practices may change and require the “addition and redeployment of resources.” While the superintendent didn't specifically mention which practices would change, but said he would be “communicating more about this process as it evolves.”
“In the highly emotional aftermath of the mass murder of children and their teachers, it is understandable that some are suggesting extreme measures to protect those who are most precious to us, and that there is a sense of urgency to do something tangible to create a greater sense of security,” he said.
However, the committee, which will include members of school and police departments, will do its work over days, weeks and months.
The Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 children, and has sparked concern and alarm across the nation, especially among parents.
“This awful event has affected us all and I am proud of the way our community has responded,” Sawyer told the school committee on Tuesday.
He said Shrewsbury's youngest students have been “properly shielded from information they don't need to know.” Older students, he said, “are saddened but are not sensationalizing what has happened.”
The last school committee meeting of 2012 began on a somber note as School Committee Chair Erin Canzano led a moment of reflection and remembrance for what she called “an unspeakable tragedy.”
Regarding the victims, Canzano said their lives were lost “too soon in such an unbearable way.”