Local School Districts, Officials React To Texas School Shooting

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Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor announced all American Flags at town buildings will fly at half-mast, while Gov. Kathy Hochul stated she had to ask herself what to do about the flag in Albany that is already at half-mast because of the Buffalo, NY shooting.
(Photo courtesy Adam S. Keck via Wikimedia Commons)

On Tuesday May 24. people around the world heard the heart-breaking news that 19 elementary school students and two teachers were murdered at the hand of an 18-year-old gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. The tragedy took place not even two weeks after the Buffalo, NY. shooting.

The Superintendent of Syosset Central School District Dr. Thomas Rogers released the following statement on May 24:

“Our hearts are heavy with the news of another tragic shooting today at an elementary school in Texas.

The Nassau County Police notified school leaders that ‘While there is no known threat or connection to our region, you can expect to see an enhanced (police) presence at schools across the county tomorrow.’ Accordingly, we wanted to alert the public to the anticipated increased presence tomorrow.

We are always grateful for the tremendous support and partnership we have with the Nassau County Police Department and our own Second Precinct officers, who regularly visit our campuses, participate in our drills, provide training to school leaders, and help review our plans and infrastructure.”

The Superintendent of Jericho Union Free School District Henry Grishman also released a statement following the shooting:

“As we continue to process the tragedy, I want to reassure you that Jericho continues to place the health, well-being, safety, and security of our students and staff as our highest priority. Be assured that all of our security measures are in place as we work closely with the Nassau County Police Department and our outside consulting firm to continue to validate our practices. The NCPD has already assured us that there is no eminent threat in Nassau County as they plan to increase their presence in all of the county schools.
Tomorrow, the district’s social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors and support staff will be available for all students needing our support and reassurance of their safety.
Please keep Uvalde, Texas in your thoughts and prayers tonight.”

Governor Kathy Hochul addressed New Yorkers the day after the tragedy, stating that she has advised local law enforcement to conduct check-ins at school districts and that she wanted to raise the age to buy firearms.

“We must harness that outrage, and that anger, and that disgust, that there could be someone with such wanton evil in their heart, that they would acquire an AR-15, go to a schoolyard after shooting their own grandmother, and opening up on innocent children and teachers,” Hochul said. “It does not happen in other countries. Rarely. It happens in a nation that seems to revere the rights of gun owners, and the ability to possess guns, over the right of children to stay alive, or to go to a school without fear of having to duck or run.”

She added: “This morning, as we’re all dealing with the pain, I’m asking myself as governor, ‘Am I supposed to just leave all the flags at half-mast?” They’re still at half-mast from Buffalo. No, I don’t want to. So we harness this anger.’”

State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who represents Syosset and Jericho, said “Robb Elementary is a school for 2nd-4th graders. There was a time when God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac. When will we stop sacrificing our own children?”

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issues the following statement:

“Join me in praying for Texas, and the innocent children and victims of today’s terrible school shooting. Although there are NO known local threats, I am intensifying Nassau County Police Department patrols near our schools out of an abundance of caution.”
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino announced that at all Town of Oyster Bay buildings, the flag will fly at half-staff to honor those who lost their lives in the shooting.
“We shed tears for Texas and the families torn apart by today’s horrific school shooting in Uvalde. Let us pray for these children, teachers and families,” Saladino said.

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