Message about student safety from the superintendent to all NISD staff

December 17, 2012

The following is an excerpt from this morning’s Woods’ Weekly, a letter from Superintendent Brian Woods that is emailed to all staff members every Monday morning:

I know we all watched with horror on Friday and over the weekend the tragic events in Newtown, CT. I put myself in the place of an educator in that system and as a parent who lost a child in the school and cannot imagine the grief they must feel.

I also know that many of you will work with children this week who will wonder and worry about a similar incident in their school. Please do your best to keep to your original plans for the day without ignoring what is obviously a terrifying event for all of us. When you do discuss school security with students, please remind them that a sense of community prevents more incidents than any piece of technology could. Caring for each other and reporting things that don’t seem right is the best way for all of us to be vigilant against any threat to school security.

We constantly debate the appropriate measure of security to have on a campus. We try to balance the use of technology and restricting access with the notion of school being a welcoming place for students, parents and volunteers. We will continue that debate. We will ask principals to work with their crisis teams to review plans. I also want to ask you to be vigilant and watchful this week as this tragic incident will be on the front of many minds.

As we mourn the victims of the tragedy in Connecticut, please be mindful of the small things we can all do to increase the safety of our buildings. Make sure doors that should be locked are, report hazardous conditions to administration, speak to students about reporting unsafe behavior to you or another trusted adult. Our ability to create a caring community in our buildings and across our district is the most powerful weapon we have in the effort to improve the safety of our schools.