Posted By: Ashley Harding
The horror in Newtown is being felt right here in Lincoln. It's the type of news that inspires parents to go home and hug their kids. At least 20 small children are dead at the hands of a school shooter in Newtown, Connecticut. Louise Hartley has grandchildren and great-grandchildren enrolled in Lincoln public schools. She says she was devastated.
"When they broke in and said there were at least 27 dead and many were children, I just cried," said Hartley.
Today's tragic events has some Lincoln parents worried for their kids. Others, like Megan Robison, are thinking of the future.
"I need to be more aware of what's going on around me and what's going on around my children. Also, I need to be more aware of other parents that I interact with, and to be careful of what I expose my children to," said Robison.
LPS officials say despite what's happened, it's important for kids to know that they're safe at school. Strict security measures are in place and school officials regularly run emergency drills.
Nancy Bare with the LPS Crisis Response team says if something is wrong, kids need to be open with parents and teachers.
"We always tell kids that if they have a worry, to tell someone. They can then be comforted and reassured. Sometimes that information is something adults need to hear," said Bare.
For now, a community is left to grieve and many Lincoln residents hope they know they're thinking of them.
"We want them to be okay. There are people out there that are thinking of them," said Robison.
"My heart goes out to them, and at Christmas time. To lose a child, whose life has just begun is unbearable," said Hartley.
Dr. Steve Joel issued a statement to staff and students regarding security and safety of Lincoln Public School students.
"As you are probably aware – there was a tragic shooting today in an elementary school in Connecticut where both students and staff members were harmed…
I'm calling to assure you – that we are responding to this tragedy – in many ways – at Lincoln Public Schools. We are working in collaboration with the police – to ensure increased security and a heightened presence in our school neighborhoods…
We have members of our Crisis Response Team available – if they are needed in any of our schools.
We have asked our school staff members to keep an eye on our students – to be sensitive to additional needs – to pay extra attention and be available whenever necessary. We ask parents to keep watch over your children over the weekend…engage then in conversation...listen and respond.
We are so very sorry for our fellow educators in Connecticut and express our deep sympathy. Here in Lincoln please let your kids know – that schools are a safe place.
Thank you – and take care…"