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Schools Handle Shooting in 'Age Appropriate Manner'

White Plains Schools Superintendent Chris Clouet said counselors have been made available throughout the district this week.

This will be a difficult time for teachers, parents and students as school districts across the country grapple with how to handle the aftermath of Friday's devastating school shooting in Newtown, CT.

White Plains is no different, and Superintendent Chris Clouet said he has met with administrators at each school to go over plans for handling questions and concerns following the shooting.

"Our plan is to handle this in an age-appropriate manner; no big assemblies, etc. for elementary students will be held; at the middle school and high school level this becomes a teachable moment," Clouet said in an open letter to parents posted on the district's website.

When contacted by Patch on Tuesday, Clouet said counselors have been made available to teachers and students, many of whom are expected to be "very hurt and fragile" as they come to grips with the shooting deaths of 26 people inside a Connecticut elementary school only an hour's drive away.

"We had everybody in place for support and some kids did avail themselves to it," Clouet said.

Each school has convened their safety teams to prepare for any possible issues this week. A handful of districts in other parts of the country dealt with copycat threats Monday, but there have been no such issues in White Plains, Clouet said.

The school district has been in regular contact with the White Plains Police Department and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, Clouet said. Police officers were stationed outside each of the district's schools during Friday afternoon's dismissal as a precaution.

"It's more to let the community know we are aware of it and to help them feel safe," Ann FitzSimmons, assistant police chief, said Friday. 

Clouet said meetings are scheduled to take place this week with officials from the police department and with the mayor.

Over the weekend police identified 20-year-old Adam Lanza as the man who shot and killed 26 people—20 of them young students—Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

As parents deal with their own concerns this week, Clouet reminded them of the local safety procedures in place within the school district. Each of the district's schools have an updated comprehensive safety plan as well as trained crisis response teams that have been in place since 1999.

Each school also has security cameras and monitors and emergency drills are practiced throughout the year.

The school district has also posted a list of literature for parents to help them deal with traumatic events like what unfolded Friday in Connecticut.

Transparency January 27, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Dr. Clouet's Hit & Run For The Money. Leaving the WP taxpayer in long term bonded debt, and a failed WP educational vision. Dr. Clouet is a taxpayer deficit liability. The Accountability & Responsibility of WP Superintendent Clouet is the failed obligations of the WP BOE all six members with the lack in oversight and accountability by BOE President Ms. Eller and VP Mr. Norris. Allowing Clouet to control them, not the reverse. The BOE makes the decisions, in Clout's case lack of decisions and oversight. Spinning us into long-term taxpayer dept left with a cosmetic educational system. Don’t blame Clouet blame the BOE. Superintendent Clouet is the bunny rabbit always running around building up his financial nest at taxpayer’s expense. Costing the WP taxpayer 1.3 million in his salary and bennies. Finally gone we hope. BOE it’s time you did the proper vetting appraisal by public opinion for the next WP Superintendent. Give us transparency. We should know what we are paying for next time. Good luck Tarrytown taxpayers. One problem less for White Plains taxpayer pockets.

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