Patch reporters throughout Sonoma County attempted today to reach members of the various School Districts for comment about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. For the most part school officials were in meetings, though the superintendent of Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District found time to respond to Patch via email.
Jeff Harding, the Healdsburg Unified School District Superintendent of Schools, did distribute a message to all HUSD staff late this afternoon, and sent a voice message to all parents in the district at 5:00 p.m. Here is the text of Harding's full message to staff, and to parents.
Dear HUSD Staff,
In light of the tragedy in Connecticut earlier today, I distributed the following message to all district parents, via telephone auto-caller. Please don’t hesitate to discuss this event with your students on Monday, if you feel comfortable. Also, please inform your principal if you or any of your students need additional support during this difficult time.
Here is the text of the voice message sent to HUSD parents @ 5:00 on Friday evening:
This is Jeff Harding, Superintendent of Schools, calling you today in the wake of the tragic shootings in Conn. As a parent of four children, I understand how this senseless act can rock the very foundation of our world. I can only assume that every parent in Healdsburg feels for the families of Newtown, Conn.
I have conferred with our school counselors to determine the best course of action for parents to take with their children. I encourage you to have a conversation with your child about this event in a way that is comfortable for you and your family.
Please do not hesitate to contact or visit the school principal in the main office of your child’s school. Extra school staff will be available beginning on Monday morning to help support our students and parents.
Our district administrative team has convened to review our school safety plans and we will continue to refine our safety procedures again in the aftermath of this event.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Newtown, Connecticut.
Jeff Harding, Ed.D.
Healdsburg Unified School District