Rhinebeck officials review school safety, security, and support following tragedy

The Rhinebeck school district released the following statement:

As news of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today reaches all of us through the media, it is impossible not to feel a profound sense of sadness and confusion regarding this kind of seemingly senseless violence, most especially when children are involved. Our hearts ache for the families of those who were killed or injured in this horrific incident, and we remember them all in our thoughts and our prayers.

It is difficult for a man-made disaster such as this, one that takes place in a school building, not to be felt particularly strongly by the students, parents and staff in our own school community, as well as in schools across the country and around the world.

While there can never be a guarantee against a tragedy such as this, we would like to remind parents, students and staff that the Rhinebeck Central School District has had safety precautions in place to increase the safety and security of our students and staff for many years. These plans are reviewed regularly and are modified as needed, in conjunction with members of the law enforcement community.

On that note, we are also fortunate to have an excellent working relationship with all of the police agencies in our area. We also have entered into an arrangement this year with the Town of Rhinebeck Police Department to provide our three schools with the services of two police officers who have been trained as school resource officers. They work as liaisons with students and the community in our classrooms and in our unstructured areas, such as our playgrounds, hallways, cafeterias, and parking lots.

Please also be aware that our school staff includes skilled and compassionate counselors, social workers, and school psychologists who are always available should our children need their services, especially as they return to school this Monday, or should our parents need advice on helping their children process this serious event.

If you have any questions about safety and security in any of our school buildings, please feel free to contact your child’s building principal or district administrators.

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