A Message from the Head Master
I have struggled over the last few days trying to understand the Newtown tragedy. And I have given up. There is no understanding. My own sister-in-law is from Newtown and knows two families who lost children. I have been to the church in the past that buried six children this week. Looking out my window on the bucolic setting of St. Andrew’s, I cannot imagine the pain and shattered lives that now reside in that once safe place.
Events like this make us pause and look at our own security precautions. Some schools have gone to hiring police officers and others have taken more extreme precautions. The reality is that a madman can do what he wants if driven by evil, but good people must respond by trying to prevent as best they can such tragedies. This September we reviewed our emergency plan as we do annually, but will once again review that plan in the next few weeks to see if we can do some things differently. We continue to do the lock down and emergency drills mandated by the state, ask all visitors to check in, and question those who do not check in. We continue to have security staff on site during the evening hours when there is less movement on campus, and we have installed video cameras in numerous areas inside and outside buildings. We continue to have swipe card entrances for our Lower and Middle School, as well as the dormitories and the fitness center.
However, one of the great pieces of St. Andrew’s is the freedom of movement between buildings and on campus. I do not want one madman’s actions to create a culture of fear that drives us to such extreme precautions as to change our school culture. There may be things we can do better and I ask that you trust us as we determine what those may be, while keeping St. Andrew’s the school we love with freedom to move without fear.
In the meantime, please keep the Newtown families in your thoughts and prayers, and hold your children close tonight.
John D. Martin