I am writing this article with a very heavy heart. Every year I have heard about, with no better term, events like this happening in other states or in big cities, but not in a small town in Iowa with the exception of the two girls from eastern Iowa. I have been asking myself why, why these two young ladies, why in Dayton and I have no answers. I just don’t understand our society today and I get angry and upset especially when children are involved. And then I ask myself again why and I still I do not have answers.
I want to assure our parents that the girls were not taken on school grounds. This has been confirmed by the authorities who have been working very closely with the abduction. Reporters keep referring to the site of abduction as a bus stop and I feel that parents are assuming that the girls walked off the bus and were taken. I have explained to the press, that the girls loaded the bus in Burnside, which they have done every day, depart from the bus in Dayton and walk home. Somewhere, I do not know exactly where, but between the school and their homes the girls were taken.
I know there are concerns about our children walking home from schools. Our district works very hard to ensure the safety of your children on school grounds and I know that our staff works hard to educate the students about safety matters. But we can only do so much. I am asking the parents to continue to teach and educate your child or children at home about safety away from home. Not just about going back and forth to school, but to playgrounds, to friend’s home, or up town to the store. I truly believe we cannot teach or revisit safety information or your home rules enough with our children. They may get bored with the information regarding what they should do in certain events, but it should become second nature. At the end of this article are informational links for parents to use to have a discussion with your child on safety.
Schools today are required to have fire and tornado drills every year which we participate in and we have also included lock down drills. I have attended several trainings on school safety and I thought I knew all of the different types of scenarios that we could/should address. But to my sadness there will always be more.
Our staff and students are willing to help in any way possible. I feel that it is very important for our children to have normalcy in their day and have counselors or an adult to talk to if they have questions or concerns. Please do not take the district as not caring when we continue to have ball games, meetings or practices. We all have Kathlynn on our minds and we all want her back. If there is anything that the communities of Southeast Webster-Grand School District need please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Rich Wagner at 515-359-2235, Mr. Dan Grandfield at 515-547-2314 or Ms. Launi Dane at 515-359-2235 to see if we are able to offer any assistance to your needs.
Please give your child or children an extra hug today and every day. Settle your differences as soon as you can, tell them every day that you love them and you are proud of whom they are or will become.
My two sons do not live with me anymore with one living in West Des Moines and the other lives in Los Angeles, California. I try to have contact with them every day in one form of communication or another. Whether it be texting, emailing or just a call, I try to make sure I let them know as much as possible that I am very proud of whom they have become, what they have achieved in their lives and that I love them very much. I know that my sons caused me some headaches as they were growing up but that is how we teach them to make decisions. They argued with me and yelled at me, but in the end they always knew I loved them and I knew they loved me back.
The counselors have asked me to link some information for parents to review for themselves and with their children. So please use this information in a way that you see fits your needs. The link is http://www.take25.org/FamilyResources and or http://rems.ed.gov/docs/SAMHSA_TipsTalkingChildrenYouthTraumaticEvents.pdf
Launi Dane, Superintendent