May 25, 2022

You may have already learned through the news that there was an elementary school shooting yesterday in Uvalde, Texas, where at least 21 people lost their lives. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community.

After hearing of the horrific events yesterday, it is only natural for students, staff, and parents to feel traumatized and experience grief. It is essential for the district to distinguish between these emotions. We have developed ways of supporting individuals regardless of where they are in their path to processing such events.

It is only natural for people to question their safety in schools when such a heartbreaking event occurs. For the district, trauma is defined as the feeling of a loss of safety. As you know, we are continually working to strengthen our safety and security procedures. With that in mind, the district has implemented several measures that include, but are not limited to:

  • Video surveillance inside and outside of all facilities.
  • School Resource Officer in our school buildings and a strong partnership with the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department and New York State Police.
  • Single point of entry at our school building.
  • Anonymous Alerts for the anonymous reporting of safety concerns.
  • District and Building level safety plans.
  • Regular drills to practice a wide-variety of emergency procedures.

As important as the district’s response to trauma is, our response to grief is just as important. Grief means different things to different people; but simply put, grief is the feeling of sadness. How students, faculty, staff, and families experience grief will be unique, and that is okay. The best thing we can do in the district is to normalize how individuals respond to grief.

Faculty and staff will be on the lookout for any changes in the behavior of students that may need attention. Counseling staff will be available to help work with students if they are experiencing difficulties processing the events in Uvalde. If you have any concerns regarding a friend or family member, please don’t hesitate to call 607-295-7471 x1140.  


Jesse Harper

Superintendent of Schools

Arkport Central School District

Resources in Response Mass Shooting/Violence/Hate Crimes

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help children, families, and communities navigate community violence.  These resources include: