Mansfield Superintendent of Schools Brenda Hodges issued the following message to Mansfield partners and the school committee on the department's website.
To the Parents and Community of Mansfield:
In light of the recent and horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I am reaching out to you with a heavy heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to the staff, students, and families of that community, as they deal with this unimaginable and unspeakable tragedy.
It is important for you to be aware that the Mansfield School Department has an Emergency Plan with very specific protocols in place. This Emergency Plan was developed, jointly, by the Mansfield Police, Fire, School Department and area emergency first responders.
Police Chief O'Neil and I have been in contact and have scheduled a meeting Monday morning to conduct a review of our Emergency Plan Protocols, which are solidly in place and are reviewed annually. The police department will also have a strong presence around the schools to provide assistance.
On Monday, all building principals will be diligent in checking the security of all entry ways to be sure that doors are working properly and locked, when required, along with reminding staff of procedures and protocols for emergency response, including lockdowns. All staff, who are responsible for receiving visitors in the building, will review procedures for allowing visitors in the building.
I am attaching a link to the National Association of Psychologists website on Talking to Children about Violence and Tips for Parents and Teachers. http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/terror_general.aspx
School psychologists and counselors will be available tomorrow to talk with any student or staff member who may want/need to meet. It is very important that our students and staff feel safe in their schools. It is important for you to know that the School Department and the Town of Mansfield is doing everything possible to ensure the safety and security of our children and staff. Let us keep our neighbors in Newtown, Ct. in our thoughts as they struggle to deal with this terrible tragedy.
Brenda J. Hodges