Today’s message is by far not the one I had anticipated sharing with you on the Fourth of July. It is not filled with cheery news about celebrating our nation’s independence, enjoying time with family and friends without the many COVID restrictions that have impacted us the past two summers or letting you know about upcoming family events and gardening parties in the Rondout Garden.
Instead of celebration and joy, the message is of sadness as the community in which I live has experienced a tragedy of immeasurable magnitude. Our small community and the nation finds itself mourning the death of six individuals with many more individuals injured and hospitalized. Many of those hospitalized may still be fighting for their lives. Adding to the tragic loss of life is the emotional trauma experienced by those who were at the event, who had loved ones at the event as well as by the first responders who were called to action. Even those of us who were not at the event feel the impact of the violence that has changed our community forever.
Today’s events sadly remind us that this type of violence can happen anywhere. I have included a link to an article about talking with children about mass shootings provided by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. How to Talk to Children About Mass Shootings (aacap.org).
On a day like today, as we hold our loves one a little closer, I want to remind you that as a school community, we continue to regularly review our emergency response procedures and to work collaboratively with first responders. In fact, our crisis team met with the Sheriff’s Department last Thursday with our our area crisis team partners. We are in a continuous cycle of review and adjustment as we work to leave no stone unturned in our crisis response preparations.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need support. You can find additional resources for mental health support on our website by clicking on Wellness Resources.
Our hearts are with those who lost loved ones, those who are holding vigil for the injured and for all those who were touched by the violence. Let us hope that the injured recover, families are reunited and everyone impacted can process the trauma with the resources and the support for the community that I call home. Let us also hope that there can be end to the tragic gun violence in our world.
Be safe and take care…
Dr. Jenny Wojcik