SHREWSBURY, Mass. - In the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, Shrewsbury teachers were instructed on Monday to remain vigilant while reassuring students that their schools are safe.
On Friday, Superintendent Joseph Sawyer met with met with Police Chief James Hester, Town Manager Daniel Morgado, and Assistant to the Town Manager Thomas Gregory regarding safety and security.
“Chief Hester and I want to make sure that you know that there are two School Resource Officers who are present in our schools, that the Shrewsbury Police are specifically trained to respond to school emergencies, and that we have excellent lines of communication between our departments,” Sawyer wrote in a message to Shrewsbury parents.
Teachers were briefed Monday morning on how to respond to children’s questions and concerns. Preschool and elementary school teachers were directed to not raise the topic of the shootings, but were told to answer students’ questions in an appropriate way while providing reassurance that school is a safe place.
According to Sawyer, each school has an emergency plan and holds safety drills each year. Principals and administrators held a school shooting drill over the summer.
Sawyer said schools will be vigilant in reporting anything that seems suspicious. While parents and school volunteers will still be welcomed in the buildings, anyone not displaying a visitor badge will be redirected and reported.
Sawyer concluded: “Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that something bad will never happen in our schools. As a fellow parent, I wish I could tell you that instituting a certain practice would prevent any harm from befalling our children, but that can never be the case. This is an unsettling fact for all of us, but I hope that you, like me, will have confidence that our educators and our public safety officers have been and will continue to be proactive and vigilant when it comes to the well being of our community's children.”