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News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott's Message to Schools Regarding Sandy Hook Elementary School


Dear Colleagues,

This morning, horrific violence in Newtown, Connecticut took the lives of many students and educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. While this tragedy occurred outside the bounds of our city, I know you share my sorrow for the students, families, and colleagues affected.

In the wake of such an event, you and members of your school community may be faced with questions about your own safety. We have been in constant communication with the NYPD and their School Safety Division, whose vigilance keeps our schools safe. I know that each of you has done a lot to prepare your Building Response Team to work with first responders in the event of an emergency. I encourage you to guide your staff and students in maintaining your school’s regular schedule and continuing to be sensitive to the needs of your students as they learn more about this loss. Crisis intervention resources and support strategies are posted on the Youth Development page on the Principals’ Portal, and your network is available to support you if you need additional assistance.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Newtown community as it struggles to cope with this tragic loss of life. My thanks to you and your staff as you continue to offer our students solace and security.


Dennis M. Walcott