Auburn Public Schools Have 'Well-Established Emergency Plans'

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Parents pick up their children from Sandy Hook Elementary School after a gunman shot and killed 26 children and adults there. Auburn's Superintendent said the school district provides a safe environment for students, faculty and staff. Photo Credit: Julie Curtis

AUBURN, Mass. – After the deadly shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last week, the Auburn school district had a “positive and productive day” on Monday as safety advisory teams reviewed well-established emergency plans, Auburn Superintendent of Schools Maryellen Brunelle said.

The safety teams, which consist of faculty and staff members from each school, regularly review the emergency protocols. But it was important to review them because it was the first day of school since the tragedy in Connecticut, Brunelle said.

“We take our responsibility extremely seriously each and every day to provide a safe environment in our schools,” she said. “The safety of our students is our top priority. It’s a true team effort around the district, and we appreciate the parents’ trust in the district.”

The safety advisory teams meet more often than monthly, Brunelle said. It goes over different emergency scenarios, reviewing the appropriate actions that faculty, staff and students would take in each specific case.

“Our goal is to always review the procedures and continue to make improvements on them,” Brunelle said. “And that will continue to happen as we move forward.”

In addition, students practice emergency drills each year, Brunelle said. On March 15, a staff development day, the safety advisory teams will lead emergency training for faculty and staff, she said. 

“The training was planned well in advance of Friday’s tragedy,” Brunelle said. “We are regularly doing training and reviewing plans. We are committed to the children’s safety.”

When the tragedy struck Friday, the Auburn Public Schools shared a document that helps parents to talk to children about tragic events.

“The National Association of School Psychologists has prepared a document titled, ‘Talking to Children About Violence:  Tips for Parents and Teachers.’  I share it as a resource as it offers guidelines for parents and other caregivers in talking to children about tragic events like this,” Brunelle posted on the school district’s website after the tragedy in Connecticut.

Click here to access the document.

If there are any questions, call Brunelle at 508-832-7755 or send an email to mbrunelle@auburn.k12.ma.us.

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Tara P.:

I wish it wasnt so easy to get into my sons school. I buzz the button, they say come in, and in you go. I loved the picture of a principal at a school that moved his desk to the hallway, where he could see the doors and everyone could see him. Its sad to know that the schools need to be locked up, but it is the way of the world and even with the doors locked, this guy got in through locked doors. Whos to say this couldnt happen here? The doors are a sheet of glass- easy to break. Anyone else see a problem with that? Maybe new, more secure and difficult to break should be installed in the future. Bryn Mawr has a great office set up. When you go in the door, you have to sign in before you can get into the school. Same with Jula Bancroft.

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