Community responds to Manhattan terrorist attack

Megha Nelivigi, Staff Writer

Following the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since 9/11, Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly met with the Security Department and sent an email to parents and teachers addressing the attack.

is Tuesday a ernoon, a 29-year-old plowed a rented pickup truck through a bike path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring a dozen more. e attack occurred right outside Stuyvesant High School, as it was dismissing its students.

Following the event, Kelly said, “ ose of us involved with the safety and security of the HM community will meet to discuss and review our current protocols in light of the information available about today’s incident.”

is is standard procedure a er any event, Director of Security Michael McCaw said, as the security team analyzes and reviews any incident, whether it occurs in Paris or Lower Manhattan.

“If this situation were to have happened at HM, we would have an active dismissal: anybody that was outside would go back into the building, and the rest would be directed into buses, whose drivers are trained on safety protocols,” he said.

In this type of emergency, the school community must be willing to listen to and follow directions given by the security staff, McCaw said.

Because of the relative proximity of the attack to the school, Kelly sent an email to the parents with a link to the National Association of School Psychologists’ talking points about adressing acts of terrorism.

“While there is never any one correct response to an act of violence of this magnitude,” Kelly wrote in the email, “reinforcing the love and a ection we share is a good place to start.”

Members of the school community shared their reactions a er the attack.

e fact that the attack occurred so close to home struck a chord, Arjun Khorana (12) said. “I’m always fearful about any of these kinds of events, but this attack happened a block away from my house,” he said. “When I saw videos and pictures on TV I recognized everything.”

Khorana was noti ed of the event on the bus home when he received a text message from a friend warning him about what had occurred, he said. Khorana arrived home two hours later than normal due to police cars surrounding his neighborhood, he said.

Aurora Grutman (12), who also lives in the neighbrhood, said there was a high chance she would have been present during the attack had she not had a meeting at school, she said.

“ e bike path that the driver drove through is the path I run on every day. Had I le school H period as I do every other day, I could have been faced with the decision of having to jump out of the way,” she said.

Others felt connected through students who attend the schools located at the heart of the attack. Aidan McAndrew (9), for instance, whose friend attends the Stuyvesant, said he felt that this event specifically impacted him, he said. His friend was standing on a walkway over the street, and witnessed the man drive into a crowd of people, he said. Although his friend was left unscathed, McAndrew said the friend sent him a disturbing text message following the incident: “I feel kind of empty inside.”

Physics teacher Oleg Zvezdin, who attended Stuyvesant High School, felt upset that yet another terrorist attack happened, but also flashed back to his time at high school, he said.

“I was there for four years at that exact corner,” he said. “I can’t help but think about all the children and families who were a affected.”