Fayette County superintendent reaches out to families in wake of Texas school shooting

Demetrus Liggins addressed how parents can talk to their children about the tragedy, resources available for help and school security

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – In the wake of the elementary school shooting in Texas on Tuesday, Fayette County Schools Superintendent Demetrus Liggins sent a letter home to parents addressing how to talk to children about the tragedy, resources available for help and the district’s investment in school security.

Here is the letter to families from Supt. Liggins:

Dear FCPS Families:

Like you, I am troubled and saddened by the news coming out of Uvalde, Texas this afternoon about a deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School that took the lives of 18 children and their teacher. Our hearts go out to all of those personally touched by this atrocity, even as we hug our own children a little tighter this evening.

Events like this are difficult to discuss with children. If you decide as a family to talk about this situation at home, I would encourage you to minimize your children’s exposure to continuous news coverage and avoid speculation about the tragedy in front of them.

Experts recommend sharing age-appropriate factual information with children and answering their questions in ways that reassure them that an event like this is not likely to happen to you or to them. It is important to emphasize that as the adults in their lives, we do everything in our power to keep them safe.

We have some tips for talking with children about high-profile incidents of violence on the district website here. There is a collection of emotional support and self-care resources for FCPS students, families, and school staff at this site as well as here. You may also submit a request for support from your school’s team at this link.

Although far away in terms of miles, tragedies like today’s shooting hit close to home and understandably raise anxiety and concern among our students, staff, families, and community members. Please be assured that creating safe and caring environments on our campuses is our greatest priority.

We are fortunate in the Fayette County Public Schools that our community has helped to fund investments of more than $50 million in health and safety measures at every school. In the past four years, our district has hired nearly 100 additional nurses and mental health professionals, built secure vestibules on every campus, added door alarms to all exterior doors, upgraded building security features, and doubled the number of police officers serving our schools.

Tomorrow is the last day of school in FCPS and many of our campuses have planned celebrations and special events. Please be patient and understand that we must still be vigilant about following all district procedures regarding locked doors, building access, and supervision.

The unimaginable pain in Uvalde today casts a long shadow that touches all of us who have committed our lives in service to children. We are also reminded that life is as precious as it is fragile. As we gather tomorrow to close out the 2021-22 school year, may we be grateful for the time we’ve had together and proud of everything we’ve collectively achieved.

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