Havre school administrators — and we suspect administrators in other Hi-Line districts — are doing what they should be doing. They are talking to students, trying to calm their fears that violence will strike their school like they saw occurred in Newtown, Conn., Friday.
School Superintendent Andy Carlson said he was also looking at improving security at area schools to prevent a tragedy such as happened in Newtown.
Administrators are prepared with answers to any questions kids might have.
The attacks in Newtown will have a lasting impact on children here and throughout the country, and young people should be encouraged to express their concerns at home and in school.
The psychological scars will remain with youngsters for a long time, perhaps for ever. By publicly expressing their fears, they will release some of their inner tensions, and teachers and administrators are wise to be prepared with gentle answers.
Carlson said school counsellors will be available to help students who may have a hard time coping with the information overload they may have gotten over the weekend.
Carlson said the schools are trying not to operate on crisis mode.
“Nothing is more comforting than routine,” he said.
That’s why it is important to maintain a sense of calm while increasing security at schools.
It is important that students feel safe at school, and that in fact they are safe. Every precaution should be taken to prevent people who don’t belong in school from being there.
But the last thing we want and need is to have schools that resemble armed fortresses.
Students should not have to feel they are in a Fort Knox-like armed fortress. That’s hardly conducive to quality learning.
That’s the balancing act school officials face. They don’t want young people endangered by unbalanced people with weapons, but they don’t want them emotionally scarred because they are in constant fear of attack.