Following last week’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., community members were left with many questions regarding the safety of our children. While Moffat County School District administrators may not have answers to all those questions, their actions in the wake of last week’s shooting show how serious they are about keeping our students safe.
Ever since the Denver Post and 9News released the findings of a joint investigation into Colorado’s child welfare system, the safety of the children in the Moffat County community has been a topic of concern and conversation.
That conversation took a tragic turn last week when a gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Since that morning last Friday, the welfare of our children is an issue that has weighed heavily on the minds of many community members, especially parents and teachers. More specifically, questions have been raised as to how we can prevent a tragedy like the shooting in Newtown from happening here as well as the procedure Moffat County School District has in place if the unthinkable does happen.
Like many community members we have searched high and low trying to find the answers to those questions, only uncovering more questions in that pursuit.
For other places across the country, tragedies like this can seem far away, like a bad dream in another world. That isn’t the case in Colorado.
The residents of our state know all too well the feelings of helplessness and panic that come after experiencing a horrible act of mass killing. We have watched other communities in our state suffer in the same way Newtown is suffering today, and we should know an attitude of “it can’t happen here” only leads to bad things.
Fortunately we have leaders who seem to realize this fact — starting with the administrators in the Moffat County School District.
A day after the Newtown tragedy, superintendent Joe Petrone issued a letter to the community seeking to calm the fears of local parents and assure them the school district is taking a proactive approach to making sure a similar massacre doesn’t happen in Moffat County.
This week he took it one step further, offering two community meetings — one last night at MCHS and another at 6 p.m. today at Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St. — to make sure parents understand the district’s safety procedures as well as to answer questions.
We encourage community members to attend tonight’s meeting if they couldn’t make it to Tuesday’s. We also applaud Petrone and the other MCSD administrators for their swift and deliberate response to last week’s tragedy.
We know they don’t have answers to all the questions events like the Newtown shooting generate just as we know it’s impossible to completely remove the risk of a similar situation happening here.
But we feel a lot better knowing MCSD administrators are proactively doing everything they can to keep our students safe.