School Safety has been at the forefront of public education in recent weeks. On March 14th there is a national movement for students to “walk out” for 17 minutes to represent the lost lives of 17 individuals in Parkland Florida.
The way in which districts, schools, and families are choosing to manage this “walk out” runs from full school participation to discipline for participation. Each school, district, and family has to address this as they deem appropriate. GCMS is approaching this in a manner that we feel best suits our community, children, and school environment.
At the Elementary School teachers have been made aware of the circumstance and have been directed to allow students who raise the desire to participate in this protest to go to the office where they will be chaperoned by administration as needed. Our hope is that the elementary school will have limited participation due to the fact this is a PARCC testing day and we do not want to compromise the integrity of the testing windows.
At the Middle School and High School staff have been made aware and students will be allowed to participate as requested with adult supervision. Additionally, at these buildings conversations have occurred where appropriate to focus on the aspects of school safety that students can control such as reaching out to adults when they or others are in need, reporting concerns to officials, and simply being kind.
GCMS employs many measures to ensure students safety. Each building is equipped with lockout systems to ensure all doors are locked and people must be buzzed in during school hours. We have cameras spread throughout the district that both monitor and record activity. The district participates in our mandatory drills including police involvement, fire, shelter in place, and evacuation. We also work very hard to provide supports to students and families to feel safe, supported, and successful.
On March 21, we will hold our annual Crisis Team Meeting to review our practices and look forward to refining and improving on our safe schools.