March 18, 2008
Dear Parents/Guardians of Grasso Students:
The video message recently posted on the YouTube.com website has
frustrated all of us. As the principal of your child’s
high school, I want to assure each of you that my number one priority
is the daily safety of your children, the staff, faculty and administration
of Grasso Southeastern Technical High School. When we are victims
of another’s poor choice, which could unfortunately happen
anywhere in this country, it causes all of us to redouble our efforts
to ensure that we have safe schools.
Since March 3, 2008, we have taken specific action to increase
security in and around Grasso. We are working closely with Troop
E of the Connecticut State Police as well as our building School
Resource Officer, and we have requested and received increased
police presence on campus. Visitors to campus are required
to enter through one door and check in upon arrival. Security staff,
administrators and teachers are in the hallways, media center,
cafeteria, and gymnasiums during and between each class period.
As always, we continue to lock perimeter doors to restrict entry
to the building. In addition, we have requested the installation
of a door buzzer system for visitors.
We have talked to students about the posting of the video, we
continue to share safety precautions and ask students to accept,
and take care of each other during this time. We have reinforced
how important it is to take personal responsibility to promote
and maintain a safe and friendly school where all people are valued.
Our counselors, psychologist and social worker are available to
speak with students, faculty and staff who have concerns.
We would like to reassure you that it is a natural reaction of
your students to be anxious and fearful for some time, and over
time, these feelings will diminish. Here are some specific things
you can do as parents to reassure your children:
- Establish a sense of safety and security for your children: Reassure
them that you and their teachers will work hard to provide for
their safety. Let them know that despite the media coverage that
appears negative, our school is a very safe place for children
on a day-to-day basis. Let them know their school has safety
plans and will continue to work to make it a safer place.
- Listen to your children’s feelings and concerns: Validate
your child’s feelings. Encourage them to talk about
their fears and concerns. Reassure them that their feelings
- Help your child clear up any misconceptions: Help
correct misunderstanding regarding the cause or nature of this
incident. There are many rumors after such an event. They should
not believe everything they hear. Talking it out and problem
solving together helps reestablish a sense of control.
- Seek help as needed: If you are concerned
about your child’s reactions or have ongoing concerns
about their behavior or emotions, please contact the counselor,
psychologist, or social worker at school to discuss your
concerns. Please let your children know if they have concerns
about someone at school, they should tell an adult in order
to get help immediately.
Again, I want to emphasize that our number one priority at Grasso
is the safety of your children. If you have questions, please feel
free to contact me.