I struggled all weekend and all Monday thinking about what to write in response to Friday's events. When it comes down to it, there just aren’t any words that can give us the full assurance that we need, that we deeply crave. Similarly, I spent the weekend talking through Friday’s horrific murders with my two children who have questions for which I don’t have answers. They are justly concerned about their safety and the safety of their friends and teachers. My daughter specifically expressed fear about going to middle school next year. I did my best to comfort them, but sadly they do not know a time when mass shootings in schools wasn’t a regular occurrence. This is their reality. It is our reality, and sadly it is the reality that our students and their families face.
We live in deeply troubled times, and though we will continue to do everything in our power to protect students, I suspect at some level we all recognize that we live in a nation, in communities, at grave risk.
And yet, in the midst of our confusion, fear, and anger, we have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our students and our teammates.
This is why we are actively doing the following:
- Sending a delegate, one of our school directors, to Austin to meet in a round table discussion with Governor Abbott
- Actively advocating for a special legislative session to create laws to better protect our students and staff
- Revisiting next year’s budget to ensure that we have allocated resources appropriately to protecting our students and staff in our facilities
- Given that many of these incidents have involved concerning social media posts, continuing to proactively monitor social media and be vigilant about any potential social media threats
- Working closely with law enforcement to proactively follow up on any and all potential threats
- Continuing to practice lockdown and active shooter drills on every campus and in the Home Office
While thoughts and prayers are not enough to change the deeply flawed nation in which we live, you, as well as the grieving families of the victims, are all certainly in mine tonight.
Aaron Kyle McLeod
Kimberly Jessica Vaughn