Henderson Co. schools have open discussions to help students fee - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Henderson Co. schools have open discussions to help students feel safe

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At Henderson County High School, officials are leading several movements to reassure students that they are safe at school, and to help them cope with sights and sounds of last week's shooting. At Henderson County High School, officials are leading several movements to reassure students that they are safe at school, and to help them cope with sights and sounds of last week's shooting.

There's an open discussion in the Henderson County School District to help students feel safe.

Besides talking about the Connecticut shootings, students are encouraged to write letters and show their support by wearing the school colors of Sandy Hook Elementary. 

The tragedy in Newtown is on everyone's mind, not least of which, are students at all educational levels. At Henderson County High School, officials are leading several movements to reassure students that they are safe at school, and to help them cope with sights and sounds of last week's shooting. 

Over the past four days, American students have consumed information about what happened in Connecticut. But, some may be finding it difficult to make sense of such a senseless act of violence.

"Today, we took an opportunity to talk about the tragedy, and to let kids discuss what was on their mind, and just to ask questions about our school," Sally Sugg said.

Sally Sugg is the principal at Henderson County High School. On Monday, she says teachers were able to discuss and clarify anything students had questions about. But, a question like 'who attacked the school?' was easier to answer than one like, 'why would someone kill a group of first graders?'

"We also talked about some ways to reach out and extend a hand of compassion and mercy to these communities," English teacher, Gabriel Merrill said. 

Merrill stressed to his students that the school does all that it can to protect them. Principal Sugg says safety measures include security cameras, close monitoring of school visitors, and even police assistance.

"It can happen anywhere. Here in Henderson, we're not immune to the violence or mental health care issues that we see in Connecticut with this tragedy," Sugg said.

Principal Sugg says Henderson County High school emphasizes communication. In the wake of this tragedy, keeping the lines of communication open, between teachers and students, cannot be overvalued.

"I think any time you can give voice to your emotions, what you're feeling, what you're struggling with on the inside is, you know, that first step to dealing with it," Merrill said.

Principal Collins says the school plans to wear Sandy Hook's green and white on Tuesday to pay tribute to the victims. She says students will be able to write letters to the Newtown community, in yet another show of support.

 

At Cairo Elementary, Principal Juli Collins talked to students and staff in an assembly Monday morning. Collins says she emphasized to teachers, the importance of making sure door locks are working properly and says she repeated to students that school is still a safe environment.

 

 

"We want to reassure our students and our families that we are safe here. So, this morning in our regular assembly, I just took a few minutes to address with the students that it's really important that we follow our safety procedures and we take them seriously, so that we all know what to do, in case of any kind of an emergency," Collins said.

 

Collins says the school held a preparedness drill Monday afternoon, which included practice for both staff members and students on how to react to an emergency situation.

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