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ACPS Superintendent Seeks to Reassure Parents in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman said security and safety are on the minds every day of school personnel.

Officials at Alexandria City Public Schools are mindful of the importance of security, Superintendent Morton Sherman said Friday in the wake of the horrific deaths of kindergartners and others in Newtown, Conn.

"We want to assure our ACPS families that our security systems are mindful of the need to protect each and every child," Sherman wrote in a note to members of the school community. "The sad reality is that we as a national educational community have learned lessons about how to deal with crisis such as [Friday's] mass shooting."

Sherman said he encourages parents to talk with their children in a "factual and developmentally appropriate manner."

The National Association of School Psychologists' website offers resources for parents, including a handout for parents and teachers (PDF) about talking to children about violence.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers tips (PDF) for helping children copy after a traumatic event.

ACPS school counselors will be available Monday to talk to children who need additional support regarding this difficult topic.

"My heart breaks for the victims of this senseless act, and I know we will all hug our children a little bit tighter when we get home today," wrote Charles Barrett Elementary School Principal Seth Kennard in a letter to parents Friday.

On Friday, a gunman killed 27 people, including many young students and the school principal at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., before killing himself. The shooter was identified as Adam Lanza.

Guy Noir December 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
At least at the east end middle school, security is porous; anyone can get in if they have an ID, and the monitor does not call the intended recipient of the visitor to check if they are expected. Central office employees working in the building do not often wear staff IDs that are visible. Like I said, very easy to get in, carrying anything.
patricia December 17, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Morton Sherman is a first class liar...when weapons were discovered at my son's elementary school, he refused to meet with us and worked to conceal it from the press.
NoBS December 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Patricia, what sort of weapons, which school and when?
Morton Sherman December 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Patricia, Please let me know what you are writing about. If weapons were found at a school, we are bound by state law to follow certain procedures and disciplinary actions. I have never refused to meet with any parents. Mort Sherman
NoBS December 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Uh, Mort Sherman, you refused to meet with me and my husband multiple times. We met at first, but then you refused to meet again and hired an attorney who vowed to "detroy" our daughter on the stand.
NoBS December 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM
"Destroy" not detroy. Typo.
Lee Hernly December 17, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Actually, Dr. Sherman has a history of lying- http://redalexandriava.com/2012/03/22/did-morton-sherman-lie-video/
NoBS December 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM
From Alexandria Times 2010 article in Lee's link: "The boards attorney Julia Judkins says Superintendent Morton Sherman was never contacted about the bullying...". That is a lie. Not only did I spend several months sending emails to Sherman and the board about the bullying and other incidents, my husband, our attorney and I met with Sherman, Clendaniel, then Asst Supt John Porter and their attorney (another attorney, not Julia Judkins). This is all documented and in court records. There were multiple families involved. In addition, Mort Sherman telephone two other moms and then my husband and me about that exact issue! There were multiple people who listened to those calls. Not only does Sherman lie, but he lies about stuff that is easily disproven, which suggests some sociopathy.
Drew Hansen (Editor) December 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Just a guess, but perhaps Patricia is referencing this incident at Mount Vernon Community School? http://delray.patch.com/articles/mvcs-principal-writes-second-letter-concerning-bb-gun-incident

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