Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org.

September 3, 2003

Dear Families,

Back to School 2003

It is soon upon us, the 2003-2004 school year. It is hard to believe that two years have passed since we sent our children to school on the bus and had them return to a life forever changed. We, at Families of September 11, are pleased to provide you with letters and information you might find useful as you return to meet with your children’s teachers and administrators.

As we did last year, attached in this bulletin is a letter to schools addressing remembrance ceremonies planned for September 11. We continue to stress that media re-broadcasts of the devastation be avoided in an effort to best protect our children from the debilitating effects of complicated grief and loss and post traumatic stress disorder.

We have also included a letter encouraging schools to better inform parents of emergency procedures and protocols. In the wake of September 11, a vast majority of schools and communities updated their emergency response protocols to correspond to the new “vulnerable” times. Paradoxically, in most cases those changes have not been communicated to those they are intended to protect. Especially with regard to our children in our schools, it is necessary for us to be aware of emergency procedures so that we do not put our children or ourselves needlessly at further risk. Being unaware of lock down or evacuation procedures in the event of terrorist activity could result in tragic fatalities of both parents and children.

Do you know the emergency procedures of your schools? We are undertaking a strong effort to urge all school districts to inform their school community of safety and emergency protocols. As parents, you are in the best position to assist in this effort on a local level. Attached is an “Open Letter to Schools” from Families of September 11 which you can use to help convince your school administration to share all safety information. You can contact us if you need assistance or further advice.

The websites of the Departments of Education in New York City, New York State and Pennsylvania have links to information about their emergency response protocols. The information is very detailed in some instances but often does not discuss what a parent’s role or expectation is during an emergency. If you live in these areas, please refer to these websites before contacting your schools, but do not hesitate to request that emergency response information be more broadly disseminated, or be defined more clearly in terms specific policies at your school facility. Please visit www.familiesofseptember11.org for links to these websites.

Please let us know if there is any other way we can assist you in your efforts in assuring your child’s safe return to school.

Open Letter to Schools
Letter to Schools Across America
Emergency Response Protocols

Families of September 11212-575-1878