In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, the administration at Mohawk is auditing the security of our buildings and revisiting our emergency response plans. We are looking at our door and window locks, and the times when the doors are locked or unlocked. We are looking at who is on duty and where. We are looking for security holes in our policies and procedures and we are developing plans for closing these “holes”.
One goal is to insure that someone is on duty at all open entrances when students are arriving and departing. We want our duty personnel to have a mechanism for communicating real time with the front office and administration, so we need to be sure they are equipped with functioning two way radios. We are also looking to put in place technology that gives us the ability to immediately “lock down” the building in the event of an emergency.
We are analyzing our lock down procedures. All of our teachers will know what the best practice and response to these types of situations, they will know what works. We’re not going to publicize our security measures, but our personnel will know and understand their role and response in these circumstances. We’re not going to create a climate of paranoia and fear, but we are going to create a climate of awareness and preparedness.
Parents, we need your cooperation and help to insure a safe school environment. Safety begins with planning. Planning and orchestrating drop-off and pick-up procedures. Planning and establishing procedures for student arrival, parking, and departure. Planning and implementing parent visitor policies and procedures. Respecting speed limits, parking spaces, and traffic signs all contribute to a safe and orderly environment. Our first indication of something being wrong is going to come from someone deviating from these established policies and procedures.
It is plain and simple. These procedures, these rules, these policies, are about student safety. School personnel will be expecting all parents and visitors to comply with these policies procedures. If we never allow anyone to park in the fire lane, then seeing a car in the fire lane is our first indication that something is amiss. Cooperate with us, we need your help, park in marked parking spaces, follow traffic signs, follow established procedures for drop off and pick up. If a school employee asks you to please move your car from a fire lane, thank them for working hard to insure that your child’s safety is being looked after. Be alert for warning signs, if you hear about someone making threats of violence let us know about it so that we can investigate, don’t assume we already know or that it is not serious.
For me, my fellow administrators, and the board of education, the safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions with regards to our school safety please don’t hesitate to communicate with me, I value your input. You can contact me by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 419-927-2414.
Ken Ratliff, Superintendent