Messages from East Cobb Principals

Several schools have communicated with parents about safety procedures related to the Connecticut school shootings.

As education and law enforcement officials across the country respond to Friday's deadly school shootings in Connecticut, some principals of East Cobb schools sent special messages to parents over the weekend outlining safety measures and advice on talking with their children about the tragedy.

At East Side Elementary School, principal Elizabeth Mavity reassured parents that "We work very hard on a daily basis to ensure that student safety is a priority."

In addition to regular safety drills, Mavity wrote that "Our teachers will be instructed to be sensitive to the emotional needs of their students."

Mavity is asking that staff members "not discuss the tragedy in detail with students, but rather reassure them that we work hard daily to ensure their safety." She said counselors will be available for students in need of support.

Murdock Elementary School principal Cynthia Hanauer sent a similar note, saying that all school staff members reviewed emergency safety plans before classes began on Monday. 

She also reminded parents that schools have electronic access control and surveillance cameras and teachers have a key to lock their classroom doors.

Sope Creek Elementary School counselors offered suggestions on how parents might talk with their children about the tragedy, including limiting access to media reports and not discussing the matter at all if it's too upsetting.

"If this is difficult for adults to understand, it is impossible for children," counselors wrote. "Sometimes we tell kids much more than they are really asking."

Above all, they encouraged parents to tell their children that "school is a safe place."

At Walton High School, principal Judy McNeill reminded parents that the school practices lockdown procedures and is "vigilant to maintain the safety of all."

David Chiprany, who identified himself in his message as the "proud principal" of Wheeler High School, said that "security measures are in place, and that we practice them on a regular basis.

"I still believe that there are far more good people in the world than there are bad, and that people are inherently good," he wrote. "I encourage you to focus on the good - the good people in the world and all that they do to make this world a better place. Please keep the families affected by these tragedies in your thoughts and prayers."

Chiprany concluded: "Don't miss an opportunity to reward/acknowledge the good around you."


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