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Newton Superintendent: Support Available for Students in Wake of CT Shooting

A gunman reportedly opened fire in a Newtown, Conn. elementary school this morning, leaving both teachers and young students dead.

Updated 7:10 p.m. with more information from Superintendent David Fleishman.

In the wake of the today, Newton Superintendent David Fleishman is offering support and reassurance for local parents. 

In a message sent to parents this afternoon, Fleishman assured families that Newton students are safe and schools will have a regular dismissal today. 

Newton Public Schools faculty and staff will be available to provide support for students on Monday, Fleishman added. 

Fleishman encouraged parents to speak to their children about the event "in ways that are comfortable for your family and developmentally appropriate."

A copy of Fleishman's message is below:

This is David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools in Newton. I am sure many of you are already aware of the school shooting that took place today in Newtown, CT. I am calling to let you know that we are keeping your children safe at school and that we will have regular dismissal today.

Inevitably, many of your children will want to discuss this very upsetting event over the weekend and we encourage you to speak with them about this in ways that are comfortable for your family and developmentally appropriate. On Monday our faculty and staff will be available to provide support as needed.

Thank you very much and take care.

In addition to the message sent home, Fleishman also posted a message on the district's website stating that he has met with all Newton principals and leaders of the citywide safety team to discuss how best to support students and staff when they return to school on Monday. 

The district recommends the following resources when thinking about how talk about the tragedy with children:

According to reports from the Associated Press (reported via Newtown Patch), a shooter with several guns is believed to have shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 

For more updates on the tragedy in Connecticut, visit Newtown Patch or follow them on Twitter @NewtownPatch.

Looking for more updates on Newton, Mass.? Follow Newton Patch on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for our email newsletters.
Tonya Meadows December 14, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Please, circulate our CHILD TRAUMA RESOURCES page for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the children and their families. http://www.childrenshopeandvoice.org/CHILD-TRAUMA-Orgs---Resources.html Thank you. ~Tonya Meadows, Founder Children's Hope and Voice child advocacy, non-profit (Located near the VA Tech community, VA.) 3735 Franklin Rd. SW #216 Roanoke, VA 24014
Melanie Graham December 14, 2012 at 08:36 PM
That's an interesting point, Glenda. I know I've heard of trouble at Newton North. I'm curious how many other schools have similar issues.
Dick Lee December 14, 2012 at 09:17 PM
the superintendent couldve use a better choice when leaving a robo message that started with This is David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools in Newton. I am sure many of you are already aware of the school shooting that took place today in Newtown" when i heard that i almost had a heart attack. i also agree with Glenda, micro cells in all Newton public schools would be GREAT!!!
Amos Fagbamiye December 15, 2012 at 09:30 PM
This horrific death and tragedy of the first grade children and their principal and staff should not go in vain...there is nothing we can do to bring them back to this mortal world of evil and wickedness but there is a lot we can and should as everlasting tributes to the innocent children. Our society, family, community and nation need God more than ever before; we need to raise godly children from godly homes; we need godly parents to respect and keep their vows of marriage and avoid broken relationships and reduce the occurences dysfunctional families; we need seek God for answers to our human problems and not guns; we need to say 'NO' to guns and their usage; we need to keep away from our society all people with 'disorder' behaviour and tendencies.
Amos Fagbamiye December 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I believe God has welcomed and received the principal, her staff and twenty young kids into heaven but leave us on earth to mourn, groan and grieve the loss. The shooter is agent of the devil and has been used to bring darkness into our human world, to attempt take the joy and celebration of Christmas from us, to break our hearts and throw us into confusion. ...If it seemed that God could not prevent the death of the first graders at their tender age along with their principal and teachers, then it is obvious and certain that God has the heavenly place for them. May God console and and comfort all who grieve and mourn at this time and for days, weeks, months and years to come and may God help the law makers and President to make laws and have measures that will make this Newton shooting the last and very last in our generation...+Amos

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