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Posted February 14, 2018

Florida School Shooting Victims in our Thoughts & Prayers

A message from Superintendent Raquel Reedy

Dear Albuquerque Public Schools Community,

It is with a heavy heart that we, once again, learn the horrific details of a school shooting.

A good resource in times like these is the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line. You can call them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-855-662-7474.

On behalf of everyone in our district, I’d like to extend condolences to the students, staff and families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

We want you to know we are very much aware of your concerns and will do everything we can to address and alleviate the understandably high levels of anxiety that the school shooting may have triggered.

The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. APS will be reviewing all safety protocols with our schools in the days ahead. This is something we do all year long, but we’ll  increase the frequency of the exercises now in light of the Florida shooting. Please understand that it’s not in the best interest of our students to publicly discuss details of our site safety plans.

The APS Police Department has been in contact with law enforcement agencies across the city, county and state. We are all committed to working together to do everything we can to keep our schools safe.

We want our teachers to know we are here if they need us. Teachers are on the front lines and may have one of the toughest jobs out there this week – keeping students focused, maintaining as much normalcy as possible in the classroom and being sensitive to the needs of shaken students.

Our guidance counselors are ready to offer any assistance necessary for staff or students.

Even though this event happened in Florida, it can still affect us through media. Every person is impacted differently, and some may not understand the event as traumatic.

Some students may view media coverage of the shootings and then worry the same could happen to them. It is important to help students understand what happened in terms they can understand. Spend time talking with your child about his/her thoughts about media coverage, what their friends are saying, and how they feel about it all. Place limits on how much media coverage your child sees and then try to explain the coverage and put it into context.

Please give some thought to what is developmentally appropriate for your student to watch, read or listen to about this tragedy.

Keep in mind some children may be less affected than others, and that's OK. Encourage your child to talk with a trusted adult at school if he or she feels anxious or scared during the school day.

Remind your child of the good things going on at school and at home. Talk about all the different people who are there to help them at school, at home and in the community. The most important thing you can do is talk with your child. Even if you don't know what to say, talking, listening and reassuring him/her is the best way to help. 

Finally, please remind your child to tell an adult if he/she ever becomes aware of information that could lead to a student safety issue. The courageous efforts of students and adults in the past have helped police prevent what could have been more senseless violence. We can't forget the power of information and our responsibility to share what we know when we can.

We will get through this, though it will take time. We will never forget and we ask that you continue to keep the today’s victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Raquel Reedy, Superintendent

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