12/16/2012

Personal Reflections on the Tragedy in Conneticuit

The past 24 hours have been among the hardest in America.     The lives of 26 people were cut tragically short when a gunman went into an Elementary School and shot them.   The debate in Social Media has been quite vibrant as people have expressed outrage over this.   It is one of the worst shootings in US History.

What I have found quite striking is how the National Rifle Association has stayed silent.     The National Rifle Association is the premier advocate for 2nd Amendment rights in the United States and no one dares to question them.     What is tragic is how they have hid behind the US Constitution to advocate Gun Ownership and advocate a sense of safety that in fact does not exist.      The statistics, though, are staggering:


As I have continued my "Virtual Rounds" in Facebook, I noticed that some of the pro-gun groups had made comments alluding to how it was the Media's Fault.   The following are excerpts of thoughts I shared on this:


The problem is that after this self-reflection, it will again drift away from the colletive mind....although we're still going to be faced with 200 deaths a week (as julien epstein noted on an appearance on MSNBC earlier)....which equates to 11,000 a yr...It starts with us as parents coaching our children...getting involved with our schools....promoting a sense of citizenship and responsiblity that insures that children realize that their future is not in having the "heads down"..but having their head up....it requires us to be more pro-active in the intercities and encourage the establishment of thosuands of "Home boy INdustries" to create a sense of hope...and many other simple steps that begins the transformational process..the qeustion is whether we have the courage and collective will as we focus on the superficial?


As for the National Rifle Association:

Isn't it strange that all the "AMEN CROWD" around the NRA have disappeared so far...but give 'em time...they'll rear their ugly head....I just was curious and "dropped by" their Website...and NOTHING!!!!  Wayne Le Pier, the head huncho had a commentary on Gun Laws in Virginia and how "right" they were...but give 'em time...I wonder who in the so-called Mainstream Media wil even dare to book 'em...they'll book losers like Ross Johnson, one of the NRA Senators who was one of the fools who rejected calls for Gun Control after Aurora.....

I was pleased to see the dispatch from the Capistrano Unified School: 

To:       The CUSD Community and Staff
Re:       Today’s Tragic Events in Connecticut

As you undoubtedly know, today, a school-related shooting in Connecticut resulted in the tragic loss of children and school staff. This message is sent on behalf of Board President John Alpay, and the entire Board of Trustees of the Capistrano Unified School District, to express their deepest sympathy to everyone impacted by these events.

Parents may be interested in supportive information on how to discuss tragic events like these with their children. Such resources are available at the following website:        

                                                http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/cp/tragedy.asp.

A natural response to school tragedies is an increased concern for the safety of one’s own family.  You should know that the Capistrano Unified School District works collaboratively with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and other agencies, to protect our students, staff, and school communities.

Thank you,
Joseph M. Farley
Superintendent

I also was pleased to see this outreach from the Principal of the Middle School my son attends: 

As you may have already heard there was a tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  This news is heartbreaking.   My deepest sympathies go out to the families and the community impacted by this senseless crime against children. 
While one can never fully prepare for a tragedy of this magnitude, I would like to assure you that we have an effective school safety plan in place at AVMS. We practice evacuation and lockdown drills on a regular basis.  We constantly review and revise procedures to improve safety and procedures.  We work closely with the Sheriff’s Department, local Fire Department, and District first response teams.   In addition, our PTSA budgets money each year towards updating safety materials and supplies.
One of our most important safety procedures is ensuring all visitors check-in the front office.  I understand that checking-in the front office can be inconvenient; however, this simple procedure allows us to know who is on our campus and the purpose of their visit.  The CUSD volunteer clearance program ensures that any adult working on campus or directly with our child in a classroom has had a background check and is not a safety concern. 
At AVMS, we have a highly visible staff that knows our students and parents well.  We are constantly vigilant of our surroundings and aware of who is on our campus.  We employ four campus supervisors who are constantly walking the campus, actively supervising, and reporting any suspicious activity.  We are also fortunate to have parents and a community that cares for the wellbeing of our school and let us know of any suspicious activities around the campus. 
We have systems in place to communicate quickly in case of an emergency, such as -Listserv, Schoolloop, School Messenger, or website, etc. It is critical for parents to maintain current phone numbers and addresses.  Please review your family information through the Parent Portal at the District websitehttp://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/.
As parents you may be interested in supportive information on how to discuss tragic events like this with your children. Such resources are available at the following website http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/cp/tragedy.asp.

Our thoughts go out to the Sandy Hook community.  

I have continued to wonder whether we will have the courage to transform our thinking not just in America--but around the World.





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