Miami-Dade Schools Observing Moment of Silence for Newtown Shooting Victims

Flags at all schools to fly at half-mast, special messages for students

Miami-Dade schools will observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Connecticut school shootings as local students return to classes Monday for the first time since the tragedy.

Flags at all schools will also fly at half-mast for the day and there will be special messages for students regarding the shooting, Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman John Schuster said in a statement.

In Broward, Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie sent a letter to parents Monday, saying there would be an increased police presence in schools this week, and psychologists and emergency crisis teams would be made available.

"School psychologists, school social workers, and family counselors are poised and ready to address the needs of student, families and staff," Runcie said.

All Broward schools and administrative offices will observe a moment of silence on Tuesday and flags will fly at half-staff throughout the week.

On Friday, 26 people including 20 young children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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On Saturday, Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho offered support to the Newtown public schools, including the Miami-Dade District Crisis Management Team, which includes psychologists, counselors and social workers.

“It was with great sadness and shock that I received the news of Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Carvalho wrote to Superintendent Janet Robinson. “Educators here in South Florida and across the world know that this terrible incident will have far-reaching impact on your community for many years to come. Our prayers will be with you and your community now and in the months ahead.” 

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The shooting has prompted South Florida schools to review their security and safety procedures.

"I believe this incident will probably cause a lot of conversations, not just in the school communities, but the communities at large," Tracy Clark, spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools, told the Sun-Sentinel over the weekend. "We continuously review our school safety plans, and we will continue to do so."

Each Broward school also has an emergency plan.

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