Saturday, January 5, 2013

It Takes a Village to Protect a Child, Part Three

     In the last post you read the results of the phone call from the sheriff and our decision to lock our exterior doors. 

     As I was went to the front office to track down the principals, I stopped by to see how my secretary was doing with the front door.  When I arrived I was surprised to see that she wasn't there.  My business manager had stepped in to give her a break.  What a great guy to step up and help her out.  What is even better; he is an ex-military man.  Twenty some years of Army experience, screening our front door visitors.  "Army Strong" or "Army of One" either way I think of it even now it makes me feel like saluting!  I visited with him for a few seconds, thanking him for helping out, but I couldn't stay long because I needed to notify my principals and the staff about what we were doing for the day.  I also knew that I needed to start working on notifying our parents.
      After a few minutes I was able to sit down in my office with both of the building principals.  I told them how everything had developed and the precautions we were taking. We discussed the day’s events and were confident that we could move forward with an “as planned” day.  We talked a little longer about the events of Newtown, Connecticut, and how it will affect schools across the nation.  I told them I wouldn't be surprised to see more federal regulations and support to make schools safer for kids.  That, however, wouldn't be decided by the feds on this day.  As we continue to hash out the ills of society and how it affect schools, I knew that I needed to wrap up the conversation and get to work on notifying my staff and then the parents.  The principals could sense this and we quickly wrapped up our short meeting.
      As the principals left my office, I pulled open my laptop and starting putting together an e-mail to my staff. Within a few minutes I had the e-mail ready, but it needed to be proofread.  As I started to look over it, I htought about our neighbors.  This wasn't the district that had received the threat, but a close neighbor to our physical location.  How close?  A five-minute drive away, and close enough if we were in an exterior lock down they would want to know the details of why. 
     I was wrapping up proofreading and hitting send to my staff e-mail, my phone rang.  I looked up at the right hand top corner of my computer to see that a little over thirty minutes had passed since the start of this whole decision making process.  The phone was on its third ring as I looked at the caller ID.  It was our neighbors. "Mike Sanders speaking," I said.  On the other end was the neighboring district's superintendent. 
     How they found out I'm not sure, but I am glad that the superintendent was contacting me.  I would have felt terrible if something would have happened to their kids.  Again it was a true sign of a village of county agencies working together to help protect our kids.  Evidently the county sheriff’s office had notified the city police about the situation and the city department had in turn notified our neighbors.  Our phone conversation and continued communication was going to bring us together to work on notifying the parents of each district.

Join me in the next post to see how the two districts work together to inform their parents.

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