An Important Message from Superintendent Austin and Assistant Superintendent Piazza
May 25, 2022
Good Morning Groton Families,
Our hearts and minds are heavy with the senseless and tragic events that have unfolded at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. As painful, confusing, and scary as this tragedy is for us as adults, it may be equally if not more so for young people. This news brought me back ten years ago to that horrifying December 14th when my Stepney Elementary School was just miles away from Sandy Hook in the neighboring town of Monroe, and now another innocent elementary school community is torn apart. As educators, we are uniquely positioned to support our children and families to help them find their footing again when occurrences such as these turn our shared world upside down. In working closely with the Town and City Police Departments, you will see extra support with police presence at our schools. This extra measure of safety is to provide comfort and security to students, staff, and our community in an abundance of caution.
The most important thing that we can do is to truly know our children and to care for them when they need our help. Our teachers, administrators, counselors, social workers, and school psychologists work with great care to ensure the safety of our children. It is most important that each child feels safe at school and their voices are heard. Schools are safer when children have a trusted adult they can talk to and tell when something is wrong. It is more important than ever that we treat each other with kindness and decency, whether in person or online. I am particularly proud of, and thankful for, our teachers, administrators, and other staff who work so diligently to ensure the safety of our children.
The following resources are being provided to teachers and parents in the event that your child wants or needs to discuss this tragedy. The links below are mostly discussion tips and guides for how one might begin to talk about these unfathomable situations with children. We hope the resources below are of value to you and your family. Most importantly, know that our expertly-trained school counselors and mental health experts stand ready to support any individual - adult or child - in need of assistance. Reach out to any school administrator, counseling staff member, or mental health team member for any need at all. We are all here to support one another.
Resources for Teachers and Parents/Guardians
- Talking to Children About Terrorist Attacks and School and Community Shootings in the News (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement)
- Talking to Children About the Shooting (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Teaching in the Wake of Violence (facinghistory.org)
- How to Talk with Kids About Terrible Things (npr.org)
- When Bad Things Happen (learningforjustice.org)
Should you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your building administrator.