In the wake of the tragic school shooting that took 26 lives, Freehold schools are doing what they can to keep students feeling safe in the classroom.
The same day that news broke of the Newtown school shootings, Freehold Borough and Freehold Township school administrators took to the Internet to share their thoughts, condolences, and provided tips on how to proceed.
In Freehold Borough, Superintendent Elizabeth O'Connell shared a message on the district’s website with tips on how to speak to students about the shooting. An example of the tips provided were speaking with children about the event and how school is still a safe place where teachers are always ensuring their safety. Another suggestion was to emphasize the importance of following the directions of teachers, support staff and school leaders during drills. View the whole message here.
Furthermore, all Freehold Borough recess sessions, physical education classes, and after-school activities will be held indoors for the entire week. Teachers have been provided with various guidance documents to use with students, but most are not bringing up the subject unless a student has questions, O'Connell said. Freehold Borough guidance counselors and the child study team are available to speak with any students who may be struggling with the Connecticut school shooting.
Going forward, Freehold Borough School District's safety plans will continue to be reviewed by the District Safety Committee, which is scheduled to meet again in early January. O'Connell will also be meeting with her administrative team on Tuesday to review safety procedures regarding visitors in schools.
In Freehold Township, two letters were posted on the district’s website to inform parents on what was being done to comfort students after the tragic event and how Township Schools would react in the event of a similar occurrence.
In one of the letters, Superintendent Ross Kasun said the Safe Schools Crisis Management Plan was revised in August 2012 and is part of the district’s approach to school safety.
“In the event of a crisis we will act promptly to communicate with parents,” Kasun said in one of the letters. “Communication will either be in the form of an e-mail or a phone call using our School Messenger emergency notification system. It is our intention to keep the students at the school until the crisis is determined to be over. Even in a crisis situation, students will only be released to individuals listed as emergency contacts in Genesis, our student management system.”