A Message from President Herbst on the Newtown Tragedy

A candle burning.

To the University Community,

We have all watched the astonishing horror that unfolded Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. I know that we as a community – like all communities across the nation – ache for those who died, most especially the children, and for all the families who have now lost someone they loved dearly in an act of brutal and senseless violence. All of us, particularly those of us who are parents ourselves, cannot imagine the grief weighing on those families or that community. It weighs on our state as well, and the nation as a whole tonight. Our concern also lies with the members of our faculty, staff, and student body who live in the Newtown area or who have family and friends there. Some may even have a connection to the victims themselves. Let us be sure to give them all the support and help they may need in the days and months ahead.

There is no easy way to discuss something like this. However, a faculty member in our educational psychology department identified a resource that may be helpful, produced by the National Association of School Psychologists, when it comes to coping with grief and especially with speaking to children about it. This material can be found here: www.nasponline.org. I hope it may be useful to you.

We cannot fathom why something so cruel and inhuman could possibly occur here in our own state, or anywhere. Our hearts and thoughts are with those who lost their lives, and those left behind.


Susan Herbst
University of Connecticut