PASD Response to School Shooting in Texas

PASD Response to School Shooting in Texas
Posted on 05/25/2022
PASD Response to School Shooting in Texas

Dear Port Angeles Families,

Our hearts are heavy as we learn more about the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday. These words feel small in the face of this community's immense grief. It is a struggle for all of us, adults and children alike, to understand why and how such a horrific attack could occur at a school.

As we all try to comprehend and process this tragedy, we recognize its impact is far-reaching and may cause fear and anxiety for our staff, students and families. Be assured that the safety of students in the Port Angeles School District is a top priority, is part of our school values, and is something we commit to and foster daily. Nevertheless, instances of school violence prompt us to pause and reflect on our District's safety measures. Recognizing that there is no simple solution to school safety, we are reminded that it starts with caring for each student, which is why students are and must always be the priority.

If your child is experiencing any anxiety about what happened, we encourage you to talk with them to help process their feelings and reactions. School counselors will support students and staff as needed in the coming days. Please contact them if you have any questions or would like resources to help support your child.

Resources are available on the District's website, which you can find here. Here are some ways you can help your family process this recent tragedy:

  1. Focus on your children over the week following the tragedy. If they are experiencing anxiety, try to help them understand what has happened, keeping in mind their developmental level.  
  2. Stay close to your children. Your physical presence will reassure them and allow you to monitor their reaction. 
  3. Limit your child's viewing of these events. If they must watch, watch with them briefly; then turn the tv off.  Don't rewatch the same events over and over again.
  4. Maintain a "normal" routine. Children may have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or falling asleep at night. To the extent possible, stick to your family's regular routine for dinner, homework, chores, bedtime, etc., but don't be inflexible.    
  5. Spend extra time reading or playing quiet games with your children before bed. These activities are calming, foster a sense of closeness and security, and reinforce a sense of normalcy.
  6. Safeguard your children's physical health. Stress can take a physical toll on children as well as adults. Make sure your children get appropriate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

Our staff, students, families, and community are in tune with our students and have consistently reported concerns to the schools or trusted adults so we can support our children and prevent acts of violence. When our hearts break for a community of children miles away, we draw on the strength and support of our community. We value the help of our families as we carry the responsibility to educate and keep our students safe.

If you have questions or concerns about the safety measures at your child's school, please contact your school's principal. Thank you.