Thursday, September 25, 2014

In the Name of Good Communication

Yesterday's Incident in Morrisville

As you probably have read by now, the suspect in yesterday's incident in Morrisville has been apprehended. This morning we reviewed the incident in our regularly scheduled Crisis Team Meeting. I would like to share some thoughts about security procedures at Stowe Middle & High School. 

  • First, we take security very seriously. The safety of your children when in our care is our first and always concern. We drill regularly. One other irony: I had originally planned a security drill for yesterday morning, but, cancelled due to conflicts. We will have one next week. We conduct these drills every other month. 
  • One item we discussed is the  difference between our secure the building/clear the hallways procedure and a lockdown procedure. If a perpetrator---God forbid---should ever threaten our campus, we would use the secure the building procedure where everyone goes immediately to a secure interior area. If we had been notified by authorities to lockdown---which we were not yesterday---we would initiate a lockdown procedure of all our perimeter doors. In this case, classes would continue unless new evidence of a more immediate threat became known. 
  • During a lockdown procedure (as well as during a secure the building procedure) the red light on the side of the main canopy above our school entrance would be flashing. Please, whenever you see this light flashing do not try and enter the building. We cannot open doors to allow anyone to enter. Please remain calm and wait for information to be distributed by authorities at the scene in the event of an incident, or, for the light to stop flashing to indicate a drill is over. 
  • Following next week's secure the building drill, we will review with faculty and students our procedures. Please help us by stressing to your child how important it is to cooperate and participate in drills with a serious attitude. 
We live in an evermore complex world; threats to our safety do exist---but, joy, compassion, and kindness also abound and are easily found. Help us to convey a balanced message of attention to prudent drills and procedures while reassuring students to not live in a perpetual state of fear. 

Thank you, 

Jeff Maher