Vigil held, districts speak out after Conn. school shooting - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DBQ, CR districts "heartbroken" after Conn. school shooting

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A vigil remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting will be held in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday.

Members of First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids will light 28 candles, one for each shooting victim -- including the shooter, Adam Lanza. They will also read aloud the names and ages of each victim.

The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday and include singing and praying, church officials said.

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Both the Dubuque and Cedar Rapids school districts issued official responses after Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

The following statement was issued Friday by Dubuque Community School District Superintendent Stan Rheingans:

"The thoughts and prayers of the Dubuque Community School District are with those in Newtown, Connecticut, impacted by today's tragic school shooting. We know that there are no words to provide comfort in the wake of today's events, yet we also know the power of school communities to unite in overcoming adversity. Today, we lend our support to those in Connecticut from afar and we join with schools across the country in striving to always provide the safest environment possible for our students."

Dave Benson, superintendent of Cedar Rapids Community School District, issued the following response Monday:

"Our entire district family is overwhelmed and heartbroken by the loss of life and innocence as a result of the tragic shootings in Connecticut. Our thoughts are with the community of Sandy Hook School.

"The first and most important priority of our school district is the safety of students and staff. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our families that we have a plan in place at each of our schools to handle emergency situations. We work with the Cedar Rapids police and fire departments to prepare for these types of emergencies and regularly practice our safety procedures with students and staff through discussions and emergency exercises. We call upon our entire school community to renew its efforts to keep children safe by reporting any safety concerns to school officials. Our children are our most precious resource.

"Children may need extra care and support if/as they become aware of these events. We have provided resources to support faculty and staff that may have conversations with students at school. Our counselors and administrators are prepared to respond to students as needed.

"We will continue to grieve for the families impacted by this tragedy and the many educators who have been devastated by the loss of their students and colleagues."

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