WESTPORT — Superintendent Thomas F. Aubin offers the following statement to the members of the Westport Community Schools:
“Like all of you, we have been saddened by the tragic acts of violence that have occurred recently, including the deadly shooting that took place in Atlanta last week and the shooting that occurred just yesterday in Colorado. While we do not know all of the specifics behind these terrible acts, what we do know is that we as a District must remain committed to the values and principles that we have always sought to uphold.
“We must not treat these tragedies as if they were simply events happening in far-off cities across the country that we watched unfold on the news. The truth is, these acts of violence could happen anywhere, at any time, even in our own backyards. They represent a troubling and disturbing trend, and we share in people’s collective feelings of frustration and pain.
“The Westport Community Schools has always sought to provide a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for every student. Clubs such as the Gay-Straight Alliance seek to provide students of all orientations a place where they can feel welcomed and supported, while groups such as STEEL (Students That Exemplify Extraordinary Leadership) teach our students how to be role models and leaders not only in their school, but in their communities as well. We will continue to explore different ways to educate our students on these topics and find ways to connect with them in real and meaningful ways.
“We strongly denounce the tragic acts of violence that have unfolded across the country in recent weeks. As educators, we understand the unique position we are in to be able to implement culturally responsive teaching practices into our classrooms and to promote tolerance and acceptance for students across all grade levels. We seek to do this every day in our schools, and we will continue to do this each day moving forward.
“These are difficult and challenging times for all of us. The recent acts of violence we have seen are not easy to comprehend, but we will do anything we can to help the members of our school community make sense of them, and as always, should any student or member of their family have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to reach out to their respective schools’ administration or directly to the Superintendent’s office.”