A Somber Monday

Your students are home now, we hope safely and happily tucked into their beds and sleeping off the residual stress from finals.  The first day without them on campus for an extended period of time always feels a bit strange, but today it seems even stranger than ever because of the horrific nature of Friday’s attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

It is a somber day for everyone.

Friday, as my colleagues and I heard the terrible news from Connecticut, there were pinched faces and misty eyes and tears.  Many of the people in my building have children, and all of us collectively are working at a place that educates children (albeit older ones).  This is everyone’s worst nightmare, to have grand-scale harm come to a school.

We are very fortunate at Wake Forest to have a Crisis Management Team that meets regularly and plans and runs exercises to prepare for the unexpected.  We just did a drill a couple of weeks ago and I posted some of the takeaways for parents about what you should be talking to your students about should an emergency arise.  This is a competent, capable, highly functioning team of caring individuals.  I would trust them with the safety of my own child as well as your children.

Our hearts and prayers are with those in Connecticut today, and in the coming days, weeks, and months which will bring them all the stages of grief.   We know there are Wake Forest alumni and parents in the Newtown area, but we do not yet know if any of them have been directly affected.  We pray they are not.

Today our office will be holding a moment of silence at 9:30 am for the victims.  It is a small gesture, but one of solidarity.  And if ever there was a good day to do something nice for someone else (whether that is paying the toll of the next guy behind you on the toll road or buying the Starbucks for the person behind you at the drive thru window), today may be the day to do it.

“Despite everything, I believe that people really are good at heart.” – Anne Frank

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