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State College Area School District Offers Resources to Help Families During Crises

by on December 17, 2012 4:02 PM

As an entire nation tries to process an unfathomable tragedy, State College Area School District officials took action to make sure parents are equipped with the resources to help their children cope with grief and understand what happened in Newtown, Conn. on Friday. 

Twenty-seven people, 20 children and seven adults, were killed in Friday's mass shooting by a gunman who then turned the gun on himself. 

State College Area Superintendent Bob O'Donnell sent a letter to parents on Friday letting them know that safety procedures are in place at each school within the district and providing links to resources that might help parents answer any questions their children may have about Friday's tragedy as well as asking them to contact their child's teacher, counselor or principal if they need further assistance, according to the district's website

The links provide a list of trauma website and other resources for parents. 

Dr. O'Donnell's complete letter is below: 

Dear SCASD Families,

I am saddened to share the content of this communication. Today’s shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut is shocking. As an educator and a parent, I cannot imagine a worse tragedy.

Although we have safety procedures in place within each of our buildings, this tragedy causes us to reflect on these practices and improve how we keep your child safe while she/he is in our schools. Please know that we will ensure this work remains ongoing and includes local police and other emergency operation officials.

Because we realize your child is or might be made aware of this tragedy, we are providing you with links to resources that can help you and your child process these tragic events in a meaningful way.  It is recommended that you speak honestly with your child about the events and reassure her/his safety.

Should your child need further assistance regarding this matter on Monday, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s counselor, teacher or principal.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have been affected by this tragedy.

Bob O’Donnell

The State College Area School Board of Directors meets at 7 p.m. for its regular meeting on Monday, and a work session to discuss the progress of the high school project will follow at 7:30.

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Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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