This is the text of a letter from the Cherry Hill School District superintendent to be sent Wednesday to families in the district.
May 9, 2007
You and your students may be anxious and concerned about yesterday's arrest of several Cherry Hill residents for their alleged involvement in a foiled terrorist plot targeting soldiers at Ft. Dix and other military bases.
This high-profile incident will likely dominate local and national news over the next few days. But despite the presence of national media in our neighborhoods and near our schools, our objective has been to make today and every day as normal as possible. While we are encouraging students to stay on task, we are also directing those students who feel anxious or distressed to speak with their teacher or guidance counselor.
In communications this morning with our staff, we have provided the following general talking points for our teachers to use in their classrooms (these may be tailored for age appropriateness):
Our schools are safe places to be.
Every day, we expect our students to be respectful and responsible.
We are tolerant of diversity. We celebrate our differences.
We don't make sweeping generalizations.
If you are feeling anxious or distressed about these events, you need to let your teacher, parents, or guidance counselor know.
We also want parents to be aware that they may see a heightened police presence at our schools over the next few days. This is to provide reassurance for our families and to ensure an orderly environment (e.g., to keep camera crews off of school grounds).
The district website provides resources for parents in helping students cope with unsettling news and events. Look for the link on the district homepage: www.chclc.org.
As always, we appreciate the cooperation of our families as we work together to support our students.