Local school officials react to Newtown tragedy

And: Talking with kids about the Sandy Hook massacre


Like the rest of the nation, the school communities in both the Lynbrook and East Rockaway are reacting to the tragic events in Newtown, Conn with heavy hearts.

Dr. Roseanne Melucci, superintendent of the East Rockaway School District, said she was horrified to learn what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She quickly spoke to the three building principals to make sure all of the students were safe and to prepare to manage the event.

In Lynbrook, Interim Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak said it’s still difficult to comprehend what took place last Friday. “Part of educating the child is not only educating them intellectually, but emotionally and socially,” she said. “So protecting them is part of our educational process and when things like this happen we all share the sorrow and the dismay that something like this could enter the innocent lives of these kids and take away their innocence.”

Visitors in East Rockaway schools must enter through the main doors of the respective buildings and sign in, Melucci noted. If a parent is meeting with a teacher they must first report to the main office. Melucci said that all doors and locked, besides the main door, and students know that they should not open them to visitors.

Burak said that Lynbrook schools altered their visitor protocol on Monday in order to keep the buildings even more secure. The elementary and middle schools have buzzers where visitors state their business at the school. Beginning on Monday, monitors at each of those buildings started asking more questions to visitors and are not permitting anyone to come inside without a scheduled appointment or the advanced knowledge of the building officials.

In Lynbrook High School, which Burak noted is an open campus building, meaning students can go outside the school for lunch, is more difficult to secure. However, she added, district officials and board of education members will discuss additional safety measures in the coming weeks.

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