Shawnee Mission superintendent issues statement on Newtown tragedy

In the wake of Friday’s school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Shawnee Mission superintendent Gene Johnson issued the following statement on safety in district schools. The statement was emailed to some district parents on Saturday:


The school shooting in Connecticut today is a terrible, tragic situation. All day we have watched the situation unfold and can’t believe what the community of Newtown is experiencing. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims and to all those who were at the school at the time of the tragedy. Our thanks go to the immediate responders, to the medical personnel who treated the injured, and to others who responded to help.

I want to be sure that our community knows that we are committed to the safety of our students. We have plans and procedures in place and practice them on a regular basis. They have been in place for a long time and are a high priority in every Shawnee Mission school. We are extremely fortunate to have our own police department, our city police departments, and the sheriff’s department who are committed to the safety of the citizens in our community. We appreciate the efforts of the police departments who provided heightened patrols around our school buildings today.

As we move forward, please be assured that the safety and security of every student and staff member in our school district community is paramount. As you talk to your student or students this weekend about the tragedy, please contact your school if you feel your child needs additional support. 

Again, please keep the families who have been so affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. 

Dr. Gene Johnson

The district also developed a tip sheet for talking to kids about the shooting. It can be downloaded here.