Message from the Superintendent – November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

I was going to be working on a more traditional Superintendent’s Update today, but given the news of the latest mass shooting in our nation I feel that it’s important to share a different message.  

As I texted a family member yesterday, the news of the murder of innocent people at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs made me angry, sad, and frustrated.  Today’s news that the individual was charged with both murder and hate crimes confirmed that authorities believe that this evil act was targeted at members of the LGBTQ+ community, so I’ll add outraged and disheartened to the way I am feeling.  I’m sure that all of our LGBTQ+ families and students, colleagues, and community members have been particularly disturbed by this awful news; please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school counselors or leaders for support if you need it (each school’s website had a link on the left hand navigation bar to mental health and wellness resources, including contact information, like this one for SHS).   

The sheer frequency of mass shootings in America (over 600 this year to date) is numbing.  Sometimes, the perpetrators of these slaughters were deeply disturbed and chose to attack schoolchildren and educators like at Sandy Hook, Parkland, and Uvalde.  Others clearly were motivated to kill people because of their identity, whether because of racism (like Charleston, El Paso, and Buffalo), or anti-semitism (like Pittsburgh and Poway, CA) or other religious hatred (like the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI), or because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (like Orlando and, now, Colorado Springs).  And these, sadly, are just some of the more infamous tragedies.

The debate and hand-wringing about mass murder in our nation will continue, with all the usual arguments back and forth.  As I stated last year after the Uvalde shooting, I know there are different political views on gun access and regulation and how to address mental health issues, but I respectfully assert that solving this crisis is not an either/or situation.  We, as a nation, need to get past the politics and figure out a both/and approach that addresses mental health needs and keeps people from using weapons to take the lives of innocent people.  Here in Shrewsbury, we need to continue to focus on ensuring that our schools create a culture of unconditional acceptance and care for all of our students, regardless of their identity, to help them grow into adults who respect and value human differences and who understand that hatred can only be remedied by love.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

I am sorry to once again remind you all that one thing that is within our control is to "say something if you see something" if you believe something is "off" that might pose a threat to our community.  Please see the information below for how to contact our school district or the Shrewsbury Police if you believe there is a risk of someone doing something harmful or violent.

You can send an anonymous tip to the school district using our School Safety Tip online form.  This tip form is linked at the very top of every web page on our website.

You can make a non-emergency call to the Shrewsbury Police Department at 508-841-8577.

Submit a tip, which can be anonymous, using the Shrewsbury Police Department’s “See It, Say It, Send It” online tip form

Text a tip to the Shrewsbury Police Department at 410-847-7837

Download the “See It, Say It, Send It” app and use it to submit a tip to the Shrewsbury Police (the app uses “geofencing technology”)

You can use the QR codes below as well.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.