Letter: School safety is everyone's responsibility

By Thomas Aubin
Posted 6/3/22

As I watched our middle school students and teachers perform beautifully at the Spring Band concert yesterday evening, I have to admit that I was profoundly distracted; distracted …

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Letter: School safety is everyone's responsibility

Posted

As I watched our middle school students and teachers perform beautifully at the Spring Band concert yesterday evening, I have to admit that I was profoundly distracted; distracted by the thoughts that come with trying to process the horror of what took place today at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two adults died as a result of a senseless act of gun violence.

To start, I have no words that could adequately describe the pain that the victims' families and first responders at Uvalde must be experiencing. As a school administrator for over 20 years, I have unfortunately indirectly witnessed numerous school shootings that have taken place throughout the country over the past two decades. Each shooting scars the souls of all school leaders and parents.We realize that it is difficult to prevent a disturbed individual from harming students and staff, even under the best of circumstances, once they have committed to taking action. Additionally, it is incomprehensible trying to understand the mental processing of the 18-year-old whose personal demons made it possible to kill 21 innocent people.

At Westport Community Schools, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our children and staff safe. Under the direction of Assistant Principal Sean Perisco and School Resource Officer Scott Davis, every school in Westport during the 2022 school year has participated in active shooter drills using the A.L.I.C.E. protocols to keep our school community safe. Additionally, the district provided professional development for all building leaders in August 2021 based on the 2021 United States Secret Service Report, "Averting Targeted School Violence."

Parents, families and friends can play a critical role in helping schools avert these senseless acts of violence. The warning signs exhibited in school violence plotters are seldom done in isolation. The Secret Service Summary clarifies that the perpetrators of these acts of horror use social media and other communication modes to announce their nefarious plans. Consequently, the statement "If you see something, say something" has never been more prescient. School safety is the whole community's responsibility, and we are committed to a perpetual review of our safety protocols at all of our schools.

Finally, we are here to help anyone in our school community who has difficulty processing the horrific event that has taken place at Robb Elementary School today. Building leaders, working with school staff, are prepared to support our students and families should assistance be needed. If you need assistance or help please do not hesitate to reach out to us."

Mr. Aubin, superintendent of Westport Community Schools, sent this letter to the school community last week.

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