Monday, December 17, 2012

Connecticut Shootings

We are all very saddened by the terrible events of the school shootings in Connecticut on December 14th.  I want you to know that in the past five years the Sioux Center Community School District has taken steps to ensure the safety of our children.
· Security systems have been installed
· Security cameras have been installed
· Through construction, moving the offices in Kinsey Elementary School and the high school from the interior of each building to the exterior so that visitor must physically go through the office to enter the building.
The problem is that Sandy Hook Elementary School did everything right. The shooter shot his way into the building.  The doors were locked, they had practiced lock down drills, and the staff followed the procedures.  The shooter was determined to get in the building. 
In my opinion, the way to prevent these tragedies is for each child to have a meaningful relationship with school personnel. This validates their dignity and worth, not because of academics, athletics, or fine arts, but because they are a child of God. If these children have mental health issues then we need to get them assistance.
In the Sioux Center Community School District we treat the safety of our children as our number one priority. I believe that we are naive if we think that we are immune to tragedy and evil but we do not want to have to ask the question, "Could we have done more?" should we have a terrible situation.
As we move forward through the Christmas season please pray for the people that are dealing with this tragedy. There is so much damage may never be repaired. The children that survived and now bear the mental scars, the Emergency Responders and police that witnessed and dealt with the horrible scene, and the parents and victim's siblings whose lives without their beautiful little child must go on without them. This time of the season, which should be joyous celebration of our Savior's birth, will now be a painful reminder of this day.
There is staff of the school that must live with the loss of young lives under their watch and the loss of colleagues who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their students. Their acts of bravery and unselfishness demonstrate the love that teachers have for their students. They did what we all hope we would have the courage to do when faced with a life or death situation.
The news shows have had many interviews with church personnel and the question arises, "Why would a loving God allow this to happen?" I do not know the answer as I do not know God's master plan but I do know this, I trust in God and his grand design for his people. We live in a broken world where evil exits for evil's sake and I believe that the goodness of God will triumph.
Here is an article I shared with the Sioux Center Community Schools staff this morning.

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