Eden Prairie Schools sent an email to district families Wednesday afternoon reacting to Tuesday’s mass shooting death of 19 children and two teachers at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.
“I write to you today with great sadness,” said Superintendent Josh Swanson. “This morning, we shared information with our staff as we process yesterday’s senseless act of violence in Texas. We want to include you in that communication. Yesterday’s tragedy affects many people across our nation, and it sits particularly heavily with us: educators, caregivers and families of young people.”
In the wake of Tuesday’s tragedy, Swanson said he finds “reassurance in the work our district has done — and will continue to do — to prevent such events” here.
“Our commitment to proactive response protocols and strong partnership with the Eden Prairie Police Department support student safety, which continues to be our top priority,” he said.
Swanson said the key to crisis prevention and response is preparing, planning and practicing.
“Our sites review and rehearse their crisis plans throughout the school year and in the summer,” he said. “The district’s partnership with the Eden Prairie Police Department is strong. We continue to partner with the police department to run drills and response protocols. Our school resource officers work to create a secure atmosphere while developing positive relationships with students.”
At times like these, Swanson said it’s important to allow “your child or teen to share their feelings and let them know that however they are feeling is OK.
“We encourage you to closely monitor news and social media perspectives that your child or teen may be seeing,” he continued. “It may be appropriate to work with them to limit their intake of information connected to this tragedy. But always take time to answer their questions and reassure them they are safe (schools continue to be among the safest places for children).”
He suggested three resources:
- National Association of School Psychologists: Tips for talking to children about violence.
- Common Sense Media: How to talk to kids about school shootings.
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: Children, school and violence: What parents can do.