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Oswego 308 Schools Offering Counseling, Support in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

Flags are flying at half-mast until further notice.

Update 3:00 p.m. Monday:

The District posted this announcement on their website Monday afternoon:

We extend our sympathy to the families and community in Newtown, Connecticut for the tragic loss they have experienced. As with any incident that affects students, we share in their grief for the victims. Our thoughts are also focused on the safety of our own precious children who attend our schools. 

The following links will provide resources which may help you address this event with your child.  In addition, if your child has any difficulty processing the information he/she has heard, please reach out to your school counselor, social worker or administrator for assistance.  

School District 308 strives to provide your children with both a nurturing and safe environment in which to learn. Our schools have comprehensive School Emergency and Crisis Response Plans that have been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education. The plans are developed and regularly reviewed in cooperation with staff, local law enforcement agencies and fire departments. School district employees are involved in emergency training and drills in the school buildings under the guidance of the police and fire departments and district administration.

In light of the horrific event at Sandy Hook Elementary School and our own concerns in our school district, please know that schools remain one of the safest places for children and we take this responsibility very seriously.  By working in partnership with families, first responders and other emergency personnel we will continue to insure the safety of our children.

Original story:

Oswego 308 schools are offering counseling services to all students in wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting last Friday.

“It’s very difficult to process for anyone, but especially children,” said Director of Communications Kristine Liptrot. 

She said each school has different approaches depending on what level the students are, but all will have counselors and social workers available through this week.

Liptrot said if parents are worried about their student, they can call the school to arrange for a social worker or counselor to talk to their child. Students are also encouraged to seek out a trusted adult at the school if they would like to talk.

Many schools will be participating in a moment of silence for the Newtown victims.

All flags will be flying at half-mast until further notification from Governor Quinn's Office on behalf of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Cattlehauler December 17, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Well and good now lets get some extra security measures on all school buildings, buses, for the staff and individual classrooms......
joe smith December 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Oswego 308 is doing pathetically little to address the students needs in the wake of this tradgedy, coupled with their response to the rumors originating from OHS with respect 12/21/12. The school and district's response is basically "well, the students can come to us if they're concerned" That's not good enough. My son goes to Thompson, and today, he comes home visibly upset that "terrorists" are going to strike all of 308 on Friday and he doesn't want to die. He does not want to go to school on Friday, and I'm inclined not to force him, if the school and the district doesn't do more to address the concerns of the students and parents. I don't know what that something is, but something has to be done at a school wide level to address the students directly.
Jane Enviere December 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I'm not sure what you are looking for them to do in terms of addressing students' needs as related to the CT tragedy. We have young children in the elementary schools and I am appreciative of the approach that our school is taking - namely not speaking about either to or in front of students. There is a plan in place if an individual student asks about it and that conversation does not involve other students. They are respecting our role as parents to share what (if anything) we feel is appropriate. I'm sure you've already done it, but it sounds like the best thing to do in a situation like you are describing is to reach out and access the services that the district is offering students like your son.
Jane Enviere December 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM
not speaking about "it", that is. ; )
Greg O'Neil December 17, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I'm with you Joe, as a parent so far the only communication I received from the school was a mass voice mail lst Friday. My wife is distraught and most of it could be avoided if the SD would just share more information with us. We want to know exactly what happened with the threat(s) last Thursday, whther those involved have been interrogated and what security measures have been taken. I know we have an anti-bullying policy, but is it being implemented. It sounds like the young man involved in the threats has suffered from repeated abuse from his classmates and nothing has been done to the bullies. My eleven year old is the best and practically the only source of information we have so far. I know the SD takes this very seriously and I would guess they are doing all they can, however they could do a much better job of communicating than they have. Since we don't know what they are doing, my kids will be staying home Thursday and Friday.
mike ellison December 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Keeping your kids home on those days is the best thing you can do. At some point, parents are going to have to do what is necessary for their children's safety.
J. Allen December 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I think the school district is doing a good job of keeping us informed. I am was a bit concerned when I first heard about the threat at OHS i have a daughter who attends OHS. I have talked to her and she feels very comfortable going to school all week, even Friday. Honestly what else does the school district need to tell us they have no reason to close down the school they are RUMORS no proof ...we all know how rumors can run rampid dont tell me nobody who reads this was never part of starting or carrying on a rumor sometime in their life. mI am not saying its right by no means, but I have faith in the school district, they would not put our children in harms way. My whole family, my husband , myself and our three children have gone thru the oswego school district and even when there has been bomb threats or the 911 tragedy when we all our most vulnerable the oswego school district has always put our childrens saftey and well being first . so to Oswego School District 308 I commed you for taking care of our precious children.
Jen December 18, 2012 at 01:12 AM
My husband and I made the decision today that we're going to keep our son home Friday. The way I look at it, it's one day (some of which is going to be taken up by holiday parties, so not even a full academic day). Obviously, the best case scenario here is that nothing happens, and my son just got a day's head start on winter break. But, I'd rather be wrong and keep him home for no reason than send him in and have it end up being a worst case scenario instead. And I'm not even focusing entirely on the rumors originating at the high school level. In the wake of the news this weekend (not only the CT tragedy, but the thwarted school threats in at least two other states for the same day), my main fear is that, with the ridiculous "end of the world" stuff, it has emboldened some to act out in this fashion, especially when you add in how tough the holidays generally are for those who have mental/emotional issues centered around their feelings of isolation from society. To me, two incidents at shopping malls, two school threats, and one school tragedy all in the span of a week is enough to have me wary of what someone might be willing to try this Friday. And since our district has been in the news over the past week, specifically regarding threats tied to 12/21, I feel that extra anxiety that it might make an attractive target to someone.
Pat Stiles December 18, 2012 at 01:26 AM
The School district is doing a good job not turning this into a feeding frenzy. They have plans in place to handle these situations. Are they going to tell them to us no, because then everyone would know how to get around them.
Walt Hines December 18, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I'm leaving it up to my children and see how they feel about it. My youngest will probably stay home as she's having a very hard time with all that has been in the news lately. My oldest in a senior and she has a test that day. She thinks the schools are nothing but rumor mills and this was done with the notion that some kids wanted out early. They were hoping that school would be called all week, that didn't happen. She informed me that they have said Friday and they've also said it can happen when the students get back. She's not reading too much into this at all. We'll wait until Friday morning and see how it goes. My thought and prayers go out to all the families at Sandy Hook.
Jacqueline December 18, 2012 at 03:03 PM
@Pat, I think the school should give some info. Are they going to search backpacks? Use metal detecting wands? It's a deterrent if they tell. I have a kid that attends OHS & I'm not comfortable w/ the attitude of the 308 that they've researched everything & it's going to be ok & we're supposed to just trust that. Last week before they were done "researching" they were telling parents to calm the fears of their children. Really? How? If they weren't even done with their research, how did they know it was safe? Ive been told nothing that they are doing that helps me feel comfortable enough to send my child on Friday. One of my kid's OHS teacher moved a test for Friday back to Thursday.
Kelly December 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I think the district is handling this well, trying not to make it into something more than it is. For everyone who wants "more communication from 308," define more. What will you do with that more information? Will it help you make a decision whether you are sending your kids or not? There was a threat, plain and simple, and there's a possibility that they don't want to release any information to give any other kids "ideas." Be happy you aren't in Naperville's school district. There was an armed intruder on the loose down the block from an elementary school last week. While they locked down the nearest school, they did not inform any of the other parents whose kids walk through the neighborhood to other schools and whose kids stand at bus stops only steps away from where the robbery took place. Meanwhile, police cars and helicopters swarmed the neighborhood and the intruder remained on the loose. At least 308 is communicating.
Angie Leonardi Moreland December 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
@Pat, the high school teachers at OHS were told not to discuss any of it. Not about their issues, and nothing about CT. These kids are big enough to know it happened, and we can't lie to the, and say it didn't happen. There has been no visible increase in security that the kids can see, and it's worrying them, OUR kids. No police, dogs, metal detectors, nothing. I had told myself if the district was really stepping up security, he'd be going. I understand if they have a plan in place they can't give out details, but the kids in school do NOT feel safe. If the administration thinks school Friday is the safest place to be, they can send their kids to school. Mine will be home. If nothing happens, (please god) then the day will be fine for those who send their kids. I could never forgive myself if something did happen and I didn't listen to my gut.
Pat Stiles December 18, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Jacqueline I understand what your saying but I personally don't know how the district can impose Metal detectors and Wanding in a short period of time. And should this become an everyday event? The District did inform us that they followed up on the Rumor and dealt with it. I am a concerned parent myself but don't know what the district can do other than maybe cancel school on friday and put us all at ease. From the sounds of it many parents are going to keep their kids home. I personally will be glad when 12-13-12 comes and we all get over this.
Pat Stiles December 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Sorry 12-22-12 comes.
Herm December 19, 2012 at 07:39 PM
So you will keep your child(ren) home on Friday, do you have a plan in place to insure they are safe at home? Will you be there to supervise them or are you going to work? Have you communicated your plan to the school so they know you have done your proper planning? There is a fine line between informing the masses and causing mass histeria. Most involved do not need to know the details. If the entire process is explained in detail, someone with the inclination then has knowledge of how to get around the plans. Let the schools do their job and you do whatever it is you have to do. Are you going to have your child(ren) spend the day involved with school work? or TV, video games, sleep?? How much closet space do you have? I believe that the ones who started the rumors, just wanted a longer winter break.

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