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School Safety & Security

February 15, 2018

We would like to acknowledge the senseless tragedy that occurred yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our hearts and condolences go out to the families of the victims. As educators, we spend our careers protecting children and yesterday’s violence is heartbreaking.

The safety and security of our students is always our top priority, which is why the District works diligently to maintain a safe learning environment. School lockdowns are a precautionary measure to protect and keep our students in a safe environment. It is important to remember that while a school is on lockdown, citizens are not permitted to enter or leave the school. Standard security procedures across the country for schools mandate that while on lockdown, students are to stay in the schools. The schools can work with you immediately once the school is off lockdown.

We want to assure the parents and students of Harrison School District Two that every step is taken every day to make sure your children are safe at school. Over the years, we have implemented safety measures to limit access to our schools and monitor each and every person who enters the doors of our facilities.

All of our schools have a single point of entry and security cameras. All visitors must check in at the office at all our schools so staff can monitor who is in our facilities at any time. Safety audits and frequent on-site checks at every school occur frequently throughout the year. Our staff is trained on lockdown procedures, which are also practiced with the students regularly.

All of our staff undergo a rigorous background check. In addition, through our volunteer program, all people - including parents - who work with children undergo a complete background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and fingerprinting thru the FBI. We do deny volunteers from working in our schools if they do not pass the background check.

We also know that the Florida tragedy will have an emotional impact on many of our students and staff members. We have provided some resources below for speaking to children regarding tragic events and school safety. Counseling services are available to all of our students.

Helpful Quick Tips:

  • Collect your thoughts before speaking to your student.
  • Reassure your student that he/she is safe.
  • Remain calm. The more calm parents remain while delivering information, the easier it is for students to process. Students look to parents as role models. Your reaction will guide their response.
  • Minimize student access to media reports about the shooting. Media reports can raise anxiety.

The most important thing that you can do is to remind your child that they're safe, that they're loved, that they are supported, that this is a very horrible thing that happened, but that they're going to be okay. The first thing kids always ask is why. It is very important not to focus on trying to answer the why, but to listen to their feelings, to bring them back to how they are feeling, and to what we can do to help the child feel better.

When talking with children about death, it is very important to be truthful. With younger children, it is important that they understand the concept of death, and parents and guardians should use honest and direct language to help explain what death means. Finally, it is important to allow children to express their feelings openly and honestly while consistently reminding children that they are safe and that the people who died did not DO anything wrong.

Additional Resources:
Talking to your children about school shootings
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

Lockout/Lockdown Parent Handout (Standard Response Protocol)