The horrific incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was a senseless and tragic event and our sympathies go out to all affected.
One of our primary concerns as a school district is student safety and, when tragedies such as this occur, it forces us to look at the protocols we have in place and to think about what we might do differently.
Some of our reinforced safety and security practices include:
- Secured, single point vestibule entrance points for all buildings.
- A requirement for all visitors to sign in at each building via the main office.
- Surveillance cameras inside and out at all buildings.
- Regular safety drills for students, faculty and staff.
- Emergency Crisis Teams in every building.
- A District-wide School Safety Plan and Building-level Emergency Response Plans (see Board Policy 5681).
Other support and awareness practices include:
- School counselors and psychologists employed throughout our school district.
- Counseling and other services provided for students in need.
- Collaboration and communication with the Johnstown Police Department, and various mental health and social welfare agencies throughout Fulton & Montgomery Counties.
- Character Education/Bullying Awareness programs throughout our districts’ schools.
Please know that our school administrators and staff will continue to work with law enforcement to investigate any and all situations that could jeopardize school safety.
Please remember that school safety is also a community responsibility. In that regard, students, parents and community members are reminded that, if you see something, say something. Please contact a principal or administrator if you hear or see things that seem questionable.
Resources for parents and children
In addition to people directly affected by tragic events, as media coverage of stories continue, students may have questions or concerns. The following resources offer some guidance:
- American Psychological Association: Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings
- REMS: Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- Parent Today: When the News Gets Scary
- Parent Today: Helping children weather the storm from the news cloud