In response to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, Superintendent of Schools Robert Maguire held several meetings over that following weekend and Monday (Dec. 17) with building principals, public safety officials, and town officials to ensure the school's safety plans are being followed.
Maguire said the school's procedures were reviewed and adjusted at the beginning of this school year, and they are being fully reviewed again.
"We're making sure that we're looking at all aspects of the plans that we have in place," he said. "Basically, what we can assure people is that we do have emergency plans in place. Those plans are reviewed annually with police and fire and they actually do get amended."
At the school committee meeting on Dec. 17, Maguire said it had been a "very sobering weekend" and recalled that, last year, he had worked with an administrator from the Newtown school district where they have a very active Chinese program.
"There was really a sense of hopelessness that you feel around these types of events," he said. "There's something particularly local and hurtful when it's young kids of that age, it's just mind-boggling."
Maguire met with administrators at the beginning of school on Dec. 17 and again at the end of the day to see how students' reacted on the first day back to school after hearing about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"What I would tell you is that, in general, the kids did great," said Maguire, commending parents for speaking to their children over the weekend about the worse grade shooting in history.
"This afternoon, the staff was prepared and clearly the parents did a great job with how they got their kids to school...Attendance was good, the kids were focused and busy, and they had a good day at school," he said.
"We want kids to feel safe going to the mall and Christmas shopping; we want kids to feel safe going to the movies; we want kids to feel safe going to school," Maguire said, referring to other recent mass shootings. "We're going to do our best and I really think that the administrative team and staff today did great work."
Editor's note: There was a public comment portion of the school committee at which parents could have asked questions regarding Medfield's safety plans, etc., however, no one asked any questions.
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