Uvalde Texas Tragedy Statement
Uvalde Texas Tragedy
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Families,
Yesterday was a difficult day as we all learned of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas. This horrific, senseless tragedy has sent fear and concern across our country once again for students, families, and educators. As a school district, when we learn of these events, it reminds us of the importance of preparedness and sharing with our children “if you see something, hear something, or are concerned about something, say something.” My heart breaks for the community and families of Uvalde. Each day we will continue to learn of the events that unfolded. We will revisit our plan repeatedly to prevent any such tragedy here in Grinnell.
I want to reassure our families that the Grinnell-Newburg School District practices and prepares for emergency incidents. We participate in weather-related drills and active shooter drills annually. This past year we participated in a round table with our Grinnell Police, Fire, and Sheriff Departments with oversight from the Poweshiek Emergency Management Agency. We also practice events with our local hospital and emergency personnel. We have a communication plan and voice reach plan to keep parents informed and up to date in an emergency.
Texas had a reunification plan for families, and I want you to know our families would be notified on what to do and where to go during an emergency. Families need to ensure that their information, especially email and phone numbers, is accurate in the Infinite Campus System. Even during a weather emergency, if the facility is severely damaged, we will instruct families on where to go to reunite with their students through Infinite Campus messaging. We collaborate with our police and emergency management team throughout the event. It is crucial, as hard as it may be, that during an emergency, please do not come to the school.
While I want to use this message as an opportunity to share our safety protocols, I also want to make you aware of some resources available to help our students process what happened. It’s important to remember that rates of self-harm (including suicide attempts) can increase after news of violent aggression and while I don’t want to create unnecessary concern, I do think it’s important that we are vigilant in carefully monitoring how our school family members (adults and students) are responding. It’s a lot to take in.
First, know that our local school counselors are available to talk with any student, teacher, parent or other community member who may need a safe place. Our staff are trained in their response and can be incredibly helpful.
If you are having conversations at home with your children, this resource from the National Association of School Psychologists is a helpful guide that provides talking points that are age-appropriate.
If you do feel that you or someone in your family is struggling in a more serious way, please consider accessing Iowa’s Mobile Crisis Response system. The purpose is to provide free, on-site support for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. If a mental health crisis occurs, one or two-person mental health professional teams will be dispatched to the crisis within one hour of receiving a request to support an individual in crisis. This on-site support is offered 24/7. Anyone can contact Mobile Crisis Services by contacting 1-855-581-8111.
These messages are never easy to write. I wanted to ensure our families that safety and security are our number one priority and that we review our procedures and protocols often. If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding our responses to emergencies, please feel free to reach out to your building principal or me.
Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg School District