Twenty innocent young children, just six and seven years of age and six numbers of staff brutally murdered.

Around the world there has been the deepest shock and sadness at this pointless tragedy. There are no adequate words.

May these dear children rest in peace and as the President of the USA has said somehow, at some point, may the parents and the children’s families and friends, the school community and the wider community find the love to cope.

Also, we extend love and prayers to Principal Dawn Hochsprung’s family and to the families of Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Anne Marie Murphy and Rachel Davino.  In their professionalism and care of the children and the school community as a whole they were selfless and made the ultimate sacrifice.  Our hearts go out to their colleagues and we acknowledge their quick thinking, their actions and careful words that avoided even greater fatalities.

What parent has not agonised over the fact that it could have been their child?  What educator has not reflected that it could have been their school?  What community  has not shouted, ‘we want our children to be safe, nurtured and to go to school without the fear of a similar fatal attack?’  What Head has not reviewed their school’s safety measures and concluded that if someone was really determined they could find their way through virtually every reasonable security system in place at the vast majority of schools?  What staff members working in schools have not considered how far they would go to protect the lives of the children in their care?

May none of us be complacent and may nations around the world reflect on the gun laws they have in place and whether they adequately protect our children.