Local Schools Coping With Newtown Tragedy

7:43 PM, Dec 17, 2012   |    comments
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LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA) --  Sunday was a day of remembrance for the people of Newtown, Connecticut.  President Obama attended a memorial service.  The grieving will continue Monday with the first funeral services.

As schools in the D.C. area reopen their doors Monday morning, officials are recognizing Friday's devastating tragedy in their own ways.

Delia Goncalves reported live outside Thomas Pullen Elementary School in Landover, Maryland where parents and students will notice more security on Monday. See the video above for details.

Montgomery County police released the following statement:

"The Montgomery County Police Department wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims and to the residents of Newtown, Connecticut. The Montgomery County Police Department has no indication of a threat to any of the schools in the county. Police Chief Manger and School Superintendent Starr continue to communicate and coordinate efforts. To provide a presence and reassurance to the community, officers were at county elementary schools during the time of dismissal on Friday and officers will be at these schools during times of arrival and dismissal today. Plans for officers' presence at these schools for the remainder of the week will be discussed among school and police officials. As a reminder, anyone who observes any suspicious situation or behavior should call police."

In Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Dale sent the following message to the school community:

"In response to Friday's tragedy in Connecticut, the Fairfax County Police Department will be increasing patrols and visibility this week around all FCPS schools, including elementary schools. This is not in response to any specific threat but rather a police initiative to enhance safety and security around the schools and to help alleviate the understandably high levels of anxiety. Police patrols will be increased throughout the school day from the opening of schools to dismissal. As always, FCPS security personnel will also be patrolling our schools, focusing on elementary schools during the school day.

Counselors and mental health support for staff and students will be available at all schools beginning tomorrow. Please let a teacher, counselor, or principal know if you need assistance. In addition, resources for support are available at www.fcps.edu.

There is nothing more important to us than providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students and employees. I want to assure you that we will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to protect them.

Thanks to the Fairfax County Police Department and FCPS security personnel for their efforts. Our thoughts remain with the children and families in Newtown."

Jack Dale

VIDEO: What to do if you're in a shooting situation: http://t.co/zkClYitt

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