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SUPERINTENDENT SAFETY MESSAGE
SUPERINTENDENT SAFETY MESSAGE
Michele Huntoon
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

At ASJUSD, we are distressed by the current violence against students and staff that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the learning community of the high school. Schools are meant to be safe havens for students and sta Violent actions against students and staff at school often lead to uneasy feelings of safety, even when it is not occurring in our own school or community. Research tells us, after such acts of violence, students seek reassurance from adults (i.e., family members, teachers, etc.) to provide comfort. To assist with those conversations, we are providing the following link as a resource for parents and teachers to have conversations with students and children:

Our top priority is to maintain a safe learning environment for students and staff. ASJUSD continues to provide regular safety training for staff and students to develop and strengthen our responsive skills in the event of a violent crime. We have implemented annual internal training and attend trainings outside the District. Administrative staff is currently receiving up-to-date trainings necessary for our schools to quickly and proactively respond to an emergency.

Our District also participates in a program called “WeTip”, which was founded in 1972 as an anonymous crime reporting resource for citizens, including students, staff, and community members. This program provides us with a tool to aid law enforcement. This program warns law enforcement and the District about potential incidents before they happen.

Students often have information regarding incidents before they occur. We know that targeted school shootings rarely happen without some sort of warning signs. The U.S. Secret Service conducted the Safe School Initiative, a study of school shootings and other school-based attacks, finding that usually “at least one other person had some type of knowledge of the attacker’s plan.” Most of those individuals who had prior knowledge were peers of the perpetrators. This suggests that peers often know about potential threats to their safety and risky behaviors of their friends and classmates, and they often fail to alert authorities about their suspicions, which potentially could prevent the violence before it occurs.

We ask that you have conversations with your children and ask that when they “see something, please say something.” Research demonstrates 80% of violent incidents had warning signs. Please help us and do your part to continue to keep our students and staff safe and have a safe learning environment. We all have a responsibility to help keep everyone in our community safe.

Please keep the families and community affected by the recent school shooting in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

 

Michele Huntoon
Superintendent
Aromas-San Juan Unified School District