The superintendent of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, Dr. Michael Harvey, said that Tuesday's murder of Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer allegedly by a student "causes us to pause and reflect."
In a blog post titled "Thoughts on School Safety" on his newly created blog, Harvey said that it has also caused him "to reflect on and review our own crisis preparations."
Just last week, school officials met with police and fire department officials from both Hamilton and Wenham to review safety plans and conducted a lockdown drill at Buker Elementary School on Tuesday. Lockdown drills at the other four schools in the district will be scheduled in coming weeks, he said.
Harvey said that he offered condolences from the entire district to Danvers Superintendent Dr. Lisa Dana and will "pass along any requests for assistance I receive as appropriate" to Hamilton-Wenham families.
After the murder, Harvey said he checked in with principals and staff to "see how the staff was holding up." Those with personal connection to the Danvers school district were "understandably affected more deeply than others," he said.
Harvey also offered tips for talking to children about the murder and provided some links to information form the National Association of School Psychologists, a group that has been a resource to school administrators, teachers and parents after other school incidents, such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.