AUSTIN - From Texas PTA - Why? This is the most commonly asked question since we learned about the senseless deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a PTA campus, in Newtown, Connecticut. Schools should be a safe place for our students, teachers and administrators, and there will be a lot of discussion and speculation in the days ahead about how this tragedy could have been avoided. No matter what the solution may be, all agree we must stop these senseless killings and do everything within our power to keep students safer.
Many will say their own schools are safe, while others are not sure. The Sandy Hook tragedy is a reminder we should never become complacent when it comes to school safety. Ask questions. Be informed. Ask your administrators and school board trustees about your school district's safety and emergency policies.
Are buildings as secure as they should be? Are policies adequate? Should they be updated? If you have concerns, start a dialogue in a manner which positions your comments and suggestions as helpful. As parents, community leaders and tax payers, we all have a right and responsibility to ensure all that can be done is being done when it comes to safety.
Texas PTA will certainly monitor and be at the table for discussions surrounding school safety. It is not an easy fix, and there is not just one cause or solution. But the Sandy Hook tragedy is a reminder that more can be done. As discussions unfold, Texas PTA will want to hear from safety experts about what our association can do to protect the most priceless possessions we have -- our children.
National PTA has a web page on school violence with resources available at: http://www.pta.org/schoolviolence.
All parents and caregivers are struggling with how to discuss this tragedy with our own children. Texas PTA partners with the Texas Pediatric Society, and here is a link
to their site which provides great suggestions for having this difficult conversation.
Another question is, “How can we help these families who are suffering in Newtown?” Over the weekend Texas PTA set up a candlelight vigil
via Facebook to honor Sandy Hook families. We encourage you to offer your support by participating.
Texas PTA extends our thoughts and prayers to everyone at Sandy Hook, and especially their PTA officers, Jennifer (President), Jennifer (First Vice President), Tracey (Second Vice President), Julia (Secretary) and Laura (Treasurer).