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Statement of San Diego Unified Superintendent Bill Kowba to Parents on Connecticut School Tragedy

The following was email to parents/guardians in the San Diego Unified School District.

The tragic and senseless shooting today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has shocked and saddened all of us. We join in the national outpouring of grief and offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. No words can express our feelings about this horrific tragedy.

The safety of the children who attend schools is always the highest priority of every employee at every school in our country. But sadly, we live in a world where senseless acts of violence occur all too frequently. Today¹s shooting transcends our ability to understand how anyone could commit such an act on innocent children, teachers and caretakers.

All San Diego Unified schools have safety plans that cover all contingencies. We are continually reviewing those plans and training our staff to ensure the safety of our students. We also have the expertise of our own school police department who monitor the safety of our school campuses. Our school police and our school staff will have a heightened awareness of security issues during this time.

Our school counselors and the crisis response team will be available to our Principals to provide guidance during the coming days to support the emotional needs of our students. Counseling professionals recommend that parents encourage their children to talk about their thoughts and feelings related to this incident and to reassure children of their own health and safety. It is also recommended that parents limit children¹s television viewing, since this tragedy will receive extensive media coverage.

Unfortunately in our society, there are no absolute safe havens from senseless acts of violence. But our schools are safe environments where our students grow and learn each school day under the care and guidance of dedicated and caring teachers and school staff. I want to assure our parents and the community that we will continue to protect our students and give them a sense of safety and well-being at our schools as we all cope to understand the tragedy in Connecticut.