By James Murray
Editor's Note: Plainview JFK Principal James Murray delivered this message to the high school's student body on Monday morning:
Monday, December 17, 2012
Re: Newtown, CT school tragedy
"This morning we are joined in sorrow over the great loss of our brothers and sisters of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., after the most tragic incident of Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.
The deaths of 20 beautiful children, and those six adults who dedicated their lives to fostering their growth, are beyond belief. Our nation - and others - are baffled by how this could happen; we are all hoping for an answer to the unanswerable question, "why?"
This heinous crime is a reminder to us all that our schools, like our places of worship, are not absolved from violent acts committed by the disturbed mind. Our schools are only as safe as we make them - it doesn't come without interest, reflection and action.
We, here at POBJFK High School, will not let the 26 innocent lives taken from the world die in vain. Our building's comprehensive safety plan is being reviewed as we speak and recommendations for change will be made quickly. As there is strength in numbers, i call upon you for assistance. You can help make our school a safer place by not opening intentionally locked doors to the outside to strangers...and reporting suspicious actions to any school personnel. We must all be more vigilant so that our schools continue to be the safe haven we enjoy.
Friday's tragedy has affected us all - there's no doubt about that. I remind you that our support staff, comprised of counselors, social workers, school psychologists and nurses, are here for you if you need someone to talk to - or know someone who should talk to them.
At this time, I ask you to join me in "26 seconds of silence" in honor of the 26 innocent souls taken from us. After this dark, somber day, I encourage you to wear white tomorrow, in the spirit of life and hope.
Please join me now in silence....(silence ensued for 26 seconds).
Thank you! "