September 16, 2013

Today's Tragic Events at Navy Yard 

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Today, several DCPS schools and one DCPS administrative building went into lockdown after police reported a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The schools and administrative building are located not far from the Navy Yard and while none of our DCPS schools were in the exclusion zone (the area immediately affected and in danger by the shooting), we took precautionary steps to ensure all students and staff remained safe and secure.

At the end of the day and with support from both Metropolitan Police and DCPS Security, the lockdown was lifted and the impacted schoolsdismissed at regular time. All afterschool activities and extended-day programs resumed as normal, with the exception of athletic events at Eastern High School and Eliot-Hine Middle School.
 
This tragedy, and others that have unfolded across the country in schools, public places and government buildings in recent years, serve as constant reminders that these events can and do happen.  We have an obligation to ensure that our school communities are familiar with the steps to take if a school is ordered to go into lockdown.  We also have a responsibility to ensure the emotional well-being of students who may have seen the tragedy unfold on television, heard about it on the news, or have a family member who was directly affected by the incident.

Today, we connected with principals at schools that went into lockdown to ensure that school operations were not impacted by the investigation and communicated with principals across the district to ensure that schools had the resources needed to respond to similar incidents. We asked that schools practice lockdown drills as they would in preparation for fires and earthquake.

We also provided our schools with resources that will help principals and staff discuss today’s incident with any students who were affected by the tragedy. We recognize that children respond to traumatic events in different ways. Some may react immediately after the event, while other children may not show signs of trauma for months. We asked that principals and teachers use these resources to identify the signs of a child who is experiencing trauma and respond appropriately.

At this time, we plan to open schools on time tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17 and by Presidential order, all flags are to be lowered to half-staff starting tomorrow through Friday, September 20th (sunset) in honor of those patriots who lost their lives in today’s Navy Yard shooting.  

Lockdown Procedures
Talking to Children after Today's Navy Yard Shooting
Talking to Children after a shooting

 

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