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Connecticut shootings on Oak Brook teachers’ minds but not class topic

Updated: February 18, 2013 1:15AM



OAK BROOK — The Connecticut school shooting was on the minds of teachers and administrators in Butler Elementary District 53 but it wasn’t a classroom discussion topic Friday.

Twenty-seven people, including 18 children and the gunman, were killed inside the Connecticut elementary school where the gunman’s mother worked.

“When something of this magnitude happens dealing with young children, we do not share this information with elementary students,” District 53 Superintendent Sandy Martin said. “We believe that parents are in the best position to help their child understand this terrible tragedy in a way that is appropriate for the child’s age and sensitivity.”

The situation is a bit different at Butler Junior High, where students have laptop computers with wireless access, Martin said.

“Our professional staff is very adept at addressing the concerns raised by our students and turning this tragedy into a ‘teachable moment.’”

The district’s two schools, Brook Forest and Butler Junior High, are secure during school hours. Visitors must be buzzed into the building and register in the principal’s office, Martin said.

The district conducts emergency drills several times a year in conjunction with the Oak Brook Police Department.

“After each drill, the police provide feedback to the building administration and the instructional staff to continuously improve our procedures,” Martin said. “In a crisis, we need to rely on the lessons learned from these drills as decisions must be made rapidly.”



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