Today was a remarkable juxtaposition at the Syosset school district. As unsettling and sobering as yesterday’s events had been, today’s welcome to our returning students has been inspiring. At the High School, our principal, Dr. Durante, welcomed incoming freshmen and reminded them that we will not be “paralyzed by the acts of a few”, nor will we allow those few to dampen the excitement of a new school year. At both Harry B. Thompson and South Woods middle schools, staff were equipping students with Chromebooks for our new 1:1 initiative. At all three schools, we reassured parents and they were grateful for our efforts.

We have received incredible offers of support and assistance from elected officials of both parties, local faith leaders, the Holocaust Remembrance Museum and our own residents. It has been extraordinary to see people from across this community pull together to resist hate and bias. We will be exploring how to best take advantage of those offers of assistance over the next days and weeks.

I have been in frequent contact with the Board of Education, and they have given the school administration the space we need to conduct a complete investigation in order to furnish them with our findings and recommendations. Similarly, the Nassau County Police are treating this as a police investigation and have asked us to refrain from commenting.

We’re grateful for the support of all of our elected officials, and for the intensity of the efforts of the Nassau County Police. It has been extraordinarily gratifying to see this community’s resilience and resolve in the face of adversity.