February 15, 2018:
Yesterday, we were all shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School outside of Boca Raton, Florida. As we offer our thoughts and prayers to the people directly touched by that tragedy, we understand that many parents want to know what steps are taken right here in the Murray City School District to protect our students. Here is an overview of measures and plans that we have in place at all of our schools for the purpose of safeguarding your children and our employees:
- Safety Plans – Each of our schools have specifically prepared School Safety Plans. These plans include lockdown and evacuation procedures, assignment of responsibilities during a crisis, emergency contacts, and other information needed during a wide range of emergency situations. The District Safety Committee, comprised of school personnel, parents and Murray City First Responders, reviews and updates our emergency management procedures each year, but events like the recent shooting in Florida prompt us to review re-assess our procedures as well. All School Safety Plans have been distributed to all Murray City First Responders (fire, police), principals and teachers. We have a previously planned meeting of the District Safety Committee scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, February 16, 2018.
- Training – As has been previously scheduled for next week, Lt. Doug Roberts from the Murray Police is scheduled to come to the MCSD administrator meeting to give active shooter training to our principals and administrators.
- School Drills – All schools conduct drills for fire, earthquake and other lockdown purposes; elementary schools 8-9 times a year, secondary schools 6 times a year.
- School Resource Officers – MCSD has three (3) SRO’s (school resource officers) based our three secondary schools and assigned additionally to coverage in all seven (7) elementary schools.
- Surveillance cameras around buildings; and outer doorways in schools secured.
Finally, we encourage you to speak to your children about how this event has had an impact on them and to offer them comfort and emotional support. Remind them that if they see something that doesn’t seem normal, to report it to an adult.
The links below include some national resources that may provide helpful guidance in approaching those conversations. The safety of children is the greatest responsibility anyone can be entrusted with. No responsibility is more sobering or sacred to us, and we thank you for trusting our schools to both educate and protect your child each day.
- Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other New Events (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- School Shootings and Other Traumatic Events: How to Talk to Students (National Education Association)
- How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy (PBS Parents)