Dear Members of the WPS Community:
I write to you tonight with a broken heart. Any mass shooting is a tragedy. When this occurs in a school serving our youngest children, no words seem fitting in capturing what is incomprehensible. WPS will continue to focus on our students’ social and emotional health and well-being. We will also continue to maintain a high level of school safety preparedness across the district. Schools where all students are known and feel connected to their peers and teachers is the most proactive thing we can do to create safe learning environments.
But we cannot do this work alone. Hate and division seem commonplace right now, streaming 24 hours a day on television and the Internet. When coupled with easy access to guns, this becomes a deadly combination. There is no question that there is more we can do to provide more robust mental health support in all communities. We can also strive to provide better models of civil discourse, even when we disagree. And it is also true that we must do more to implement common sense gun control.
Tomorrow, many of our students and staff will likely want to discuss this tragedy, share their emotions, and feel the support of a caring community. As we always do following these events, we will strive to meet students where they are and engage them on their terms, in developmentally appropriate ways. The National Association of School Psychologists has some useful resources on how to talk to children about violence that I encourage us all to review.
Tonight, please hug your loved ones a little tighter and keep the families of Uvalde,Texas in your thoughts.
Dr. David Lussier
Superintendent of Schools