Local schools react to CT school shooting - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local schools react to CT school shooting

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

After this tragedy, schools in our area are reflecting on their own safety measure, and taking steps to help students cope.

Wausau School officials, parents, and students all say they're heartbroken over this tragedy. Wausau district leaders say events like this help point out that tragedy can happen anywhere, and that's why it's so important to make sure they're prepared.

"It's tragic, just a terrible situation," Director of Pupil Services Jeff Lindell said. "Parents send their kids to school and hope that they are safe and then one person can end that safety in a heartbeat."

After the news of the horrific school shooting in Connecticut, Wausau school leaders say they were shocked.

"You don't expect it to happen in any place and our community is no different," Lindell said.

That's why school officials say they have safety procedures in place to try to prevent events like this from ever happening.

"Helps you realize it can happen anywhere, at any time," Lindell said.

Officials say they hold mock training sessions with parents, students and the police department on a regular basis. School leaders say every school has a specific safety plan implemented, and students and staff review that plan regularly.

"You just want to be prepared, you want faculty to be prepared and know how to react so should something occur you don't have to think about what it is you need to do to best keep kids safe in that type of situation," Lindell explained.

And they hope that type of situation never happens here at home.

The news of the tragedy also probed another question, do school officials tell students? In Wausau, teachers did not inform children of the incident.

"Kids might have questions and concerns but you want to be age appropriate," Lindell said.

That's why, he says, school counselors and trained staff are available for anyone who may need it.

"It's just a different world," Lindell said.

For more information on the best ways to help children cope with this tragedy and what parents should do when explaining events like this to their children, click on the links below for helpful information and tips.

Sesame Street Workshop: Helping Families After an Emergency (PDF)

A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope

Connecticut School Shooting: 4 Tips for Helping Kids Cope

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