Due to continued incidences in our schools in which anonymous messages have been sent to our students with threatening language against our schools, I want to take a moment to provide additional insight into our process for addressing these situations and communicating our efforts with our families.
Our top priority as a district has been and will continue to be ensuring the safety of our students and staff. Everything else we do as an organization is secondary because high levels of learning cannot take place in an educational environment that is perceived to be unsafe. I find it equally important for our community to understand that no school is exempt from the conditions impacting our world today. Therefore, our students routinely practice a variety of safety drills from traditional tornado, earthquake, and fire drills to more recently needed intruder drills.
Regardless of the situation, WCPS remains committed to providing our families with timely and transparent communication in the event a perceived threat is made toward one of our schools. In these situations, it is critically important for families to understand that our most immediate concern is ensuring student safety. We work closely with local law enforcement agencies, district level officials, and building leaders to determine the proper steps in keeping students safe during these situations. We always err on the side of caution which could lead to increased anxiety on behalf of our students and families. However, we follow a protocol that enables us to efficiently investigate the situation while at the same time, ensuring safety in the event a threat is deemed credible. Due to the complexity of these investigations, we must ensure that we are in a position to accurately communicate all available information with our families before sending out communication. The variance in time is always dictated by the unique aspects of each situation. Please know that as Superintendent, I become personally involved in all situations in which a significant threat is made toward one of our students, staff, and/or school.
We will continue to communicate all necessary information to families via text and/or email and will post updates as often as the situation allows. We are also committed to providing our families with thorough follow-up communication in the hours and days following the incident. You can help us fulfill our commitment by ensuring your contact information is up-to-date in our Infinite Campus system, and we ask that you please contact your child’s school if you have any changes in your contact information throughout the year.
I continue to be proud of our staff’s professionalism and our student’s cooperation during these situations which allow us to ensure student safety, identify the individual(s) behind the threats, and ultimately hold those involved accountable for their actions. You can trust us to continue our focus upon the development of strong relationships between our students and staff within our buildings as we continue our work to create a positive educational environment for all students. Thank you for allowing us to serve your family and please don’t hesitate to let us know if you ever have a safety concern. Happy Holidays!