HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- As students and staff return Monday to Virginia Beach schools, the superintendent encouraged them to wear blue to honor shooting victims -- and students and staffers of Henrico County Public Schools are being asked to do the same.
Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy Cashwell, a Virginia Beach native, said she had been thinking about the "unspeakable act of violence claimed the lives of 12 people and injured four more" since Friday.
"As we prepare to see your precious children again on Monday, the close proximity and possible connections may result in this event resonating more strongly within our schools," Cashwell said.
Often after such traumatic events occur, some people may find themselves struggling to regain a sense of normalcy. It is not uncommon that the full impact of the event strikes them days or even weeks later. And so, I wanted to share some resources below that you may find helpful in the future. Look for those at the bottom of this message.
On a personal note, this tragedy hits close to home for me. I grew up in Virginia Beach and spent 20 additional years there as a classroom teacher and school administrator. The school superintendent in Virginia Beach is Dr. Aaron Spence, a former school principal here in Henrico. He’s asking everyone in Virginia Beach to wear blue on Monday to support those affected by Friday’s events and to honor the 12 lives lost.
This evening, I stand with Dr. Spence in asking all of the staff, students and families of Henrico County Public Schools to wear blue on Monday to show our love and support for Virginia Beach. I hope you’ll be able to join me in this meaningful gesture of togetherness.
Virginia Beach: 'Blue represents the beach' and 'first responders'
"For us, blue represents the beach, and the color our first responders wear when they rush toward danger to save lives every day," Natalie Allen, communications officer for Virginia Beach, Virginia schools, told CNN.
Blue is also the background of the city flag.
Aaron Spence, Virginia Beach superintendent, Saturday tweeted the announcement about wearing blue, and it was picked up by neighboring school districts.
Newport News Public Schools, Suffolk Public Schools, Hampton City Schools, Chesapeake Public Schools, Portsmouth Public Schools, the York County School Division and Isle of Wight County Schools all stated on social media they will join Virginia Beach schools in wearing blue, according to CNN affiliate WTKR.
Virginia Beach schools will have counselors on site throughout the week for students and staff.
"Hug your loved ones close tonight," Spence said in a statement Friday. "I know this horror is incomprehensible. We will work through it together because we are a family. Our strength and our resolve are unwavering in the city we call home."