imageI don’t even have words for my feelings right now. My heart breaks for the community of Newton, Connecticut. I don’t understand how something such as this could happen. I just don’t.

As an educational leader this is another sobering event where you question everything we do. Are our safety plans sound? Do all staff understand their role should such an emergency occur? Have we invested enough resources in school security measures? What could have prevented this from happening in Connecticut so that it can never happen in Worthington? As an administrative staff we ask these questions?

As a parent of three elementary age girls I can’t even write this without tears. What the Hell is wrong with people today? I don’t want to let my girls out of the house, not today, tomorrow or ever.

An incredible tragedy occurred. A heroic Principal gave her life to try to prevent it. There is nothing I can say to make this O.K. for you, for my wife, or in my own mind.

As a school district we are committed to providing a safe environment for all students and staff. There is nothing more important that we do. This event will not change our safety plans but it is another opportunity to review them, refine them, and adjust them as is necessary. We’ll partner closely with local law enforcement and we’ll need you as parents and community members to partner closely with us to help. I’m not certain what we’ll need, but respecting locked doors, signing into the office, approaching anyone without a visitor badge, keeping fire lanes clear, and respecting the authority of the school principal to make any changes they believe necessary for student safety, are all little things, but they help.

When Monday arrives 9,500 students will attend Worthington Schools. 1,100 staff members will greet them with a smile, and probably with a hug. Learning will commence. Nothing will be the same as it was before Friday, but in Worthington I believe parents and educators will continue to partner together to provide the safest physical and emotional environment possible.

Hug your kids this weekend. Hug your neighbors kids this weekend. Thank an educator who will come to work on Monday shaken from these events, but will come to work anyway to do the job they have been called to do.

I don’t understand these events. I can’t imagine I ever will. As a District Leader and parent I want what you want. A safe place for all kids to go to school. A safe community for kids to grow-up in. Adults who care for my kids outside of my home. This morning my confidence in those things has been shaken, but in Worthington I believe those things exist to a great extent. It’s our job, every one of us, to make sure they continue to.

(I’m currently out to the state celebrating my 18th wedding anniversary with my smoking hot wife. When we planned this trip it seemed like a good time. Now, I just want to be home. I won’t be home until late Monday night, thus if you have any questions on school safety or security in Worthington Jeff Maddox is our Director of Innovation and School Support and can be reached at or at 614-450-6000. Jeff is our school safety expert and will be responsive to your needs.)

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