Tag Archives: Uvalde school shooting

Uvalde Tragedy: The Westport Connection

In the grief and outrage following this week’s murder of 19 children and 2 teachers in Texas, and as discussions swirl about America’s gun culture, much of the focus is on the AR-15 rifle used in the assault.

Washington Post story notes that just days before the carnage, gunmaker — Daniel Defense posted a tweet showing a young boy with the rifle. It said: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

That’s a reference to a Biblical proverb, the Post says.

After the shooting, Daniel Defense hid its tweets from public view.

The Georgia-based company had planned to exhibit at this weekend’s National Rifle Association convention in Houston. “GIVEAWAYS, DEMOS, CELEBRITY APPEARANCES & MORE,” they promised.

Those plans were canceled. Daniel Defense pulled out “due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas where one of our products was criminally used,” said vice president of marketing Steve Reed.

“We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting.”

Reed is a graduate of Princeton University, with an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Steve Reed

He’s also a 1980 graduate of Staples High School, where he captained the football, basketball and baseball teams. He attended Hillspoint Elementary and Long Lots Junior High Schools too.

His LinkedIn profile notes: “Marketing leader with proven record of driving profitable brand growth and transforming teams for success. … Adept at translating customer insights into new growth opportunities. Demonstrated ability to develop and communicate data-driven strategies & tactics that resolve complex business challenges and meet financial forecasts.”

Immediately after the massacre, Reed said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act. We will cooperate with all federal, state and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations. We will keep the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community in our thoughts and our prayers.”

He did not reply immediately to an “06880” request for further comments.

Tooker: Prayer Vigil Sunday; No Imminent Threat Here

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker says:

“My heart is aching today as we collectively grieve the loss of innocent lives in Uvalde, Texas.

“Our Interfaith Clergy Association of Westport and Weston will convene a prayer vigil on Sunday (May 29) at 2 p.m. on Veteran’s Green in front of Town Hall to allow us to come together to mourn, show our support and just be together as a community in the wake of this tragedy. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join.

“There is no imminent threat in Westport. However, we will have a strong police presence at our schools and throughout our community to ensure our residents, our kids, our educators, our business owners and our visitors feel safe. Our principals, educators and psychological services teams will be available to our students at every level who would like to speak to them.

“Also, our Westport Together alliance is ready to offer support to the broader community at www.westporttogether.org.

“But that is not enough. Congress must pass legislation that protects all of us with common sense gun regulations consistent with Second Amendment rights. We cannot endure another tragedy like this. Action must be taken.”

Scarice: “We All Hurt. But We Will Be Ready.”

Last night, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice said:

I am so sorry to send this message this evening. I just wish I had something magical to say that would console and comfort the heartache so many in our community feel in the aftermath of the massacre of young children in a Texas elementary school today.

But I do not. There is nothing I can say to ease that heartache. I can only feel that pain along with you. I have struggled since 6 p.m. this evening, trying to conjure up words of comfort. But for now, along with you, I just hurt.

However, I want to assure each member of our community that when the bell rings in the morning, we will be ready to receive our students, your children, with the care and responsibility that professional educators embody. Our team will be ready. Many of us will give an extra long hug to our own children this evening, even the teenagers, and again in the morning before we leave. But we will be ready.

This evening our director of psychological services, Dr. Valerie Babich, has mobilized, along with her team and the entire district administrative team, to provide guidance for each of our levels: elementary, middle and high school. I want to assure parents of young children that discussion of this topic will not be initiated at the elementary level. However, we are working at this moment to organize and provide guidance and resources so our faculty are ready in the morning.

Principals are working right now to plan how to disseminate information to teachers so that they are prepared to handle this in their classrooms. In the era of social media and young children with access to smartphones, we cannot be assured of protecting them from exposure to this horror. As a result, we are doing our best to equip our teachers to acknowledge their feelings, reassure them of their safety by reviewing all of the measures in place to keep our schools safe, while not talking about the unspeakable tragedy in our elementary schools.

Many children from all levels will question why this happened. There is no good answer to that question, and we will not try to answer it. But again, we will acknowledge feelings and reassure students of their safety at school by emphasizing the many measures we take to ensure safety.

Dr. Babich and her team will work this evening with the administration at our middle and high schools to plan an appropriate response and provide guidance to faculty and staff. In addition, by the end of the day tomorrow we will send out resources to families that guide parents through discussions on this topic with their children.

Finally, I have been in touch with our chief of police, Foti Koskinas. I have requested a police presence at all of our schools tomorrow, which he immediately honored. Our schools are not at risk, yet this collaboration and support with our local police department is reassuring for many in our community. We will continue to partner with our police department to maintain the highest of safety standards in our drills and protocols.

We will do our best tomorrow. We will be professionals and rise up to support our students. We all hurt right now, but when the bell rings in the morning, we will be ready.