Superintendent's Letter to Parents Regarding School Safety
Posted February 16, 2018
Hagerstown, MD (February 16, 2018) - Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Michael sent a letter to parents of students in Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) today, expressing his reassurance to parents and the community that the safety of students and staff is a top priority. Here is the letter:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
In light of the recent school tragedy in Florida, concerned parents and community members have reached out to the school system regarding safety protocols in our schools. We all mourn the loss of life in this senseless act of violence, and we are left wondering how it can be avoided in the future.
Although there is no absolute guarantee that something like this will never happen again, I want you to know that the safety of students and staff in our schools is a top priority for our system. Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) considers our school buildings among the safest places in the community, and the system takes many measures to reduce the probability of an incident that could harm students or staff.
WCPS purposely exceeds the number of required safety trainings in schools every year. It is only through practicing lockdowns, fire drills, duck-and-cover and shelter-in-place procedures, and other scenarios that students and staff can be prepared for an emergency. Additionally, the school system has established safety committees that meet regularly, we manage an extremely collaborative relationship with law enforcement officials who are an extension of WCPS operations and the system is continually evaluating its safety protocols across every level throughout each school year. We also have a comprehensive network of internal and external campus security cameras and school resource officers who are available in our schools every day.
Further, it is important to recognize that everyone plays a critical role in school safety. Students, staff and the community are encouraged to be observant and let an adult know if they see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened, and especially if they hear threats of dangerous behavior. If you ever have any doubt, contact law enforcement immediately.
Finally, I know we can all agree that violence is never a solution to any problem; however, we must prepare in every way for how it could affect our lives. To that end, you should feel assured that WCPS operates daily with safety as a top priority for everyone who sets foot on our campuses and into our buildings.
Dr. Boyd J. Michael