Resources in Place as Students Return to School

Harrison police are maintaining a presence at Harrison schools in the wake of Friday's shooting in Connecticut.

This will be a difficult time for teachers, parents and students as school districts across the country grapple with how to handle the aftermath of Friday's devastating school shooting in Newtown, CT.

Harrison is no different, and Superintendent Louis Wool said meetings with teachers, principals and members of the Harrison Police Department continued Tuesday as district leaders discuss school safety.

“Right now we are not supposing any changes, but we want to just think together as we reorganize for the upcoming year," Wool said Tuesday as he prepared for a meeting with police.

Harrison police will maintain a presence at each of Harrison's schools as a precaution for the foreseeable future, Wool said. Counselors will be available for students struggling emotionally as they come to grips with the shooting deaths of 26 people inside a Connecticut elementary school less than an hour's drive away.

Wool said Harrison teachers and principals held meetings before school opened Monday to prepare for the first day back after the shooting. Teachers have been prepared to deal with difficult questions that may come up in the weeks to come.

“Our teachers are fairly well-versed in what is appropriate to respond to in a classroom setting," said Wool. "Some children who may ask more explicit questions or may be more distressed are taken to another location and serviced by our school psychologist, school social workers or sometimes a team of professionals."

The superintendent also wrote an open letter to the community, discussing some of the questions he has fielded from parents this week. He added Tuesday that he is very confident in the systems currently in place to manage a possible crisis.

“My greatest concern, really, was for parents who had tremendous anxiety about dropping their children off at school, and for our teachers, to make sure that they had all of the necessary resources in place as these emotional issues were unfolding," Wool said.

Wool visited each of the school district's buildings Monday and said most students were "doing just fine" and that resources remain available for anyone who needs them.

"I think the return to normalcy was a good thing,” he said.


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