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Pittsfield schools postponing safety drills in wake of Texas massacre

May 26, 2022 5:30 am
Larry Parnass is reporting for The Berkshire Eagle that school officials in Pittsfield, MA., have announced they will postpone drills previously scheduled to take place this week to help students and staff prepare to respond to violent intruders. The decision was made "out of respect to the lives lost" in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. Superintendent Joseph Curtis said drills had been planned for four city schools, as part of ongoing safety training, and will now be moved to early June. “Today’s horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, provides a stunning reminder to all of us on how precious life is and how deeply troubled members of our society are,” Curtis wrote in the message, sent to the school community hours after the shooting. The school department is making counselors available to students who are having traumatic reactions to news of the Texas shootings. In that incident 19 children and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old man who entered an elementary school. Curtis urged parents and guardians to monitor their children’s exposure to news coverage of the attack, as well as their online activity, and to be alert to signs that they may be overwhelmed by feelings of grief, panic or sadness. The message offered updates on steps the city is taking to protect the schools from intruders, including the drills held recently. The schools have been investing in technology that promotes communication. Curtis cited new security systems that include cameras able to instantly alert police and school department leaders to emergencies. The superintendent said that every educator and administrator is equipped with a radio that enables them to communicate the presence of threats. Read the full story in The Berkshire Eagle.

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