I hope that you have all been able to find some joy over the break. Hope and determination will light the way to our bright and noble future – a future that you must envision and take small steps toward each day. I have made a commitment that our students and staff will be recognized for our recovery and not for the tragedy. Together, we can do this.
We will open school at the regular time on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 (it will be an F-Day). There will be continued professional counseling support from our staff and clinicians from the State of Connecticut. Students seeking counseling support should access resources through the School Counseling Office. Counselors will continue to monitor common areas to provide additional support. We will be working hard to ensure an appropriate and smooth transition from state and national support to local support. There will also be additional law enforcement support and we will continue to restrict media access to the campus.
As we move forward from this tragedy, we will find that people are in very different places in the grieving process. Perhaps not knowing where people are in the process, what they will say, or how they will react to what is said is a considerable source of anxiety for you. I am sure that it is for many people. We are committed to creating an environment that best supports an accelerated healing process and allows students and staff to take the next steps toward a healthy future. The truth is, though, that we are not exactly sure what that process looks like. We are only certain that it will require tolerance, kindness, respect, compassion, and the initial assumption of positive intentions. We all must be considerate and supportive of the differences in how people grieve.
Focusing on growth, connection, and responsibility to others is a positive, healthy way to deal with tragedy. You can support long term personal and organizational health by incorporating recognition of good qualities and individual strengths into conversations with friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
Our collective strength and resilience will serve as an example to the rest of the world.