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Schools in Oak Park, River Forest Respond to Connecticut Shooting

A gunman, now dead, is believed to have taken the lives of nearly 30 people today—most of them children—in Newton, CT.

Area school districts have put out statements today in response to a shooting spree that claimed the lives of nearly 30 people at an elementary school in Newtown, CT today.

A single gunman, armed with semi-automatic handguns, is believed to have entered Sandy Hook Elementary, killed his mother and 20 children in a shooting rampage, according to media reports. A total of 26 have been reported killed—20 were children—as well as the gunman in his home by his own hand. 

In the wake of today's tragedy, District 90 released a statement from Superintendent Dr. Ed Condon on the district's emergency plans.

Read the full letter in a PDF posted in pictures above.

In the letter, Condon assured parents that the district has, "tight security procedures in place to protect our students. These include restricted school access for visitors, lockdown drills and procedures for students and staff, communication radios, and a Crisis Plan that is reviewed and revised annually with both the River Forest Police and Fire Departments."

The letter also touched on the emotions of the district's children following news of the tragedy, and offered the following tips:

  • One of the most fundamental questions your children will have is whether they are safe at school. Reassure them that school is a safe place, populated with caring, trained adults.
  • Provide extra attention and consideration.
  • Respond to your children’s questions with sincere and age-appropriate honesty.
  • Encourage expressions of thoughts, feelings, and emotions through conversation and play.
  • Remind your children about the need to follow the direction of staff and emergency personnel in the event of any emergency.
  • Be sure to follow all security procedures when visiting our schools.

District 200 explained that because the shooting did not occur in the Chicago area, the district did not put out a press release regarding the tragedy today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

District 200 officials said there would be staff available to assist parents, students and staff with any concerns.

District 97 responded similarly, and also said they would have counselors available should students or staff need someone to talk with on Monday morning.

To read more about the shooting today at Sandy Hook, please see our Newtown, CT Patch site for full coverage of today's events.

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