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   On Tuesday, May 24, Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. Ramos killed nineteen students and two teachers after wounding his grandmother earlier in the day. Ramos was shot and killed on scene at Robb Elementary. The investigation continues. The grief will likely continue forever.

   Regarding Michigan, as a reminder, a mass shooting occurred at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021 where four students were killed and seven injured. That community and most of mid-Michigan are still struggling with the Oxford tragedy.

   Following is a letter from a number of area school superintendents in response to this recent mass shooting.

Wednesday, May 25

Good Afternoon, 

   We’re tired of writing these letters. It’s sad that in this day and age we just have to “rework” a letter that was shared with our families in December. 

   We are sure you are aware of the tragic event in Texas. As we try to comprehend these tragedies, it feels like the best we can do is extend healing thoughts and prayers to affected communities. That event, and others like it around our country for the past 20 years or so, has affected the educational community’s sense of normalcy and security. 

   Tragedies like this affect our students, staff and families in varying ways. Each of us will respond to this in our own way. Each of us will form our own opinion(s) on the matter. Each of us will process this event differently. Despite all of these differences, my hope is that we can all come together and make a commitment to treat each other with extra kindness and respect – not only today and in the coming days and weeks, but every single day. 

   It is up to each of us to do our part to spread love, compassion and kindness in our own little corner of the world. 

   If, as adults here in Shiawassee County, we commit to that, we can ensure we are serving as models as we provide a more caring environment for all of our students and fellow community members to grow and thrive. 

   You should also be reminded that all Shiawassee County schools continue to be committed to the safety and security of our students and staff. Over the past years, our staff members have been trained in lockdown and other emergency protocols. We have a strong partnership with our local law enforcement agencies and we continue to review all of our safety and security protocols in order to provide a safe environment. Additionally, we have contracted with Critical Incident Management to help conduct our training and safety plans. We meet regularly to ensure we are up-to-date on resources and training to help ensure our students and staff are as safe as possible. 

   As a reminder, we ask everyone to continue to report all suspicious or threatening activity, including social media posts, to law enforcement and/or school officials immediately. It takes all of us to remain vigilant and protect our children. If you or your child should ever hear any potential threats, please do not hesitate to contact OK2SAY anonymously in the following ways: 

• Call 8-555-OK2SAY 

• Text 652729 (OK2SAY) 

• Email OK2SAY@mi.gov 

   There are no words for the emotions that we are all feeling in the wake of this tremendous tragedy. Please take care of yourself and reach out to your child’s teacher/building administrator if your child needs support. We have social workers and counselors that can help students process their feelings and concerns. 

   In addition, the following links may be helpful for when/if you discuss this incident with your child(ren): 

• Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers 

• Coping with Community Crisis | Harvard Graduate School of Education 

• Helping Children Cope 

   Thank you for your continued support. The only way we will get through this is by supporting each other and working together as one community. 

   Please hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight and every night. 

Respectfully, 

Byron Superintendent Jan Amsterburg 

Corunna Superintendent John Fattal 

Durand Superintendent Craig McCrumb 

New Lothrop Superintendent Anthony Berthiaume 

Owosso Superintendent Andrea Tuttle 

Shiawassee RESD Superintendent Dave Schulte

Area Superintendents Offer  was last modified: May 31st, 2022 by Karen Elford