Dear Parents and Caregivers:
We were deeply saddened to hear about the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Our thoughts are with the members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community. The safety of our students is always the top priority in our School System.
Our safety efforts include security cameras, visitor authorization ID’s, perimeter fencing, student drills throughout the year, and employee professional development on security protocols. We have a district security coordinator, School Resource Officers at all of our high schools and many junior high schools, and our district and school officials work closely with law enforcement throughout the year. We have comprehensive crisis plans in place for each of our schools and sites. Law enforcement and first responders work with us to review and update these plans on a constant basis. Some of our security plans contain precise details that we are not able to share in order to keep the information out of the wrong hands. Following the recent events, I invited all of our local law enforcement leaders to meet with me this week to discuss our current efforts. I believe there is always room for improvement, and school security is an active and ongoing process.
Principals know their schools better than anyone else and work with staff and students daily to keep everyone on campus safe. If you or your child sees something unusual or has a concern, you should always let someone at the school know. For parents, the best person to reach out to is the principal or a Central Office Supervisor. For students, any adult on campus will listen. Tips can also be reported anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 1-877-903-7867. We have mental health professionals and counselors on all of our campuses, and our School System has a close relationship with the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
We, along with the help of all of our St. Tammany Parish law enforcement agencies, are dedicated to our efforts to maintain safe and secure learning environments at all of our schools, but we also need the help of our parents and caregivers. It is important for you to spend time talking with your child to review safety procedures and reassure them that they are safe. Take time to listen to any concerns they may have, and talk to them about the importance of sharing information that could be considered threatening with a responsible adult. We pledge to make safety our priority and to take any threat seriously. Our theme is Together STPPS, and with all of us working together we will provide a safe learning environment for Every Child, Every Day.
W. L. “Trey” Folse, III Superintendent