AUBURN, Mass. – After last week’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the Auburn School Committee paid tribute to the victims at Wednesday’s meeting.
School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Lourie read the names and ages of the murdered 26 children and adults, followed by a moment of silence for the victims.
“It is unfathomable what occurred in Newtown, Conn.,” Lourie said. “Words can’t adequately express the senseless and unprecedented tragedy that occurred in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Innocent, defenseless children senselessly murdered. Heroic administrators and teachers selflessly giving their lives to protect their community’s most precious resource: their children.
“I know all of us as a nation, as parents and as human beings recall the horror of what occurred, and we grieve with them for their unthinkable loss,” he continued. “I now want to take a moment to remember those individuals whose lives were lost and those survivors who have touched our hearts.”
After reading the names of the 20 students and six staff members who were killed, Lourie said, “In the time it took me to read these names, they were lost.” It took him 67 seconds to read all the names.
“So let us now take a moment of silence to reflect and remember those precious lives lost and also pray for the families and friends of all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” Lourie said.
Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle said it has been a “challenging week for all of us based on what took place in Connecticut.”
“Just as our commitment to continuous improvement is an honest one in terms of our academic programming, it is the same for the safety, and we’re constantly looking at how we can improve and make things better,” Brunelle said. “That’s not to say we don’t have good procedures in place, but we are actively looking at if there’s anything we can do and learn from this to try and even make further improvements.”
The school district had a “positive and productive Monday” as safety advisory teams reviewed well-established emergency plans, Brunelle said. The safety teams, which consist of faculty and staff members from each school, regularly review the emergency protocols, but Brunelle said it was important to review them on Monday since it was the first day of school since the tragedy.
The safety advisory teams meet more often than monthly, Brunelle said. They go over different emergency scenarios, reviewing the appropriate actions that faculty, staff and students would take in each specific case.