I certainly don’t believe I can make any more sense out of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown than the thousands of people that have been interviewed since the event took place. However, I did feel the need to communicate with the parents of Ardmore High School students. I will not make commentary on the causes, or contributing societal factors but will rather focus on the steps we are taking at Ardmore High School to make our school as safe as possible.
Like every other school we have a safety plan which includes a lockdown drill along with many other safety scenarios such as severe weather. We have two lockdown drills a year where we practice the proper procedures. We use these drills as times to evaluate and adjust our safety procedures. New research has come out since the Virginia Tech shootings which have caused schools to add a new component to the lockdown drills. We are constantly looking for the latest recommendations from the experts and I feel certain after the latest tragedy is studied new suggestions will be released through law enforcement and other school safety channels.
Our faculty and staff are very cognizant of school safety and are vigilant in supervision. We do not have a central entrance like many modern buildings, but we do monitor who is on our campus and visitors have a sticker which lets teachers know this person has been approved to be in the school. We also have a full time resource officer who is here when school is in session. In addition to our SRO, we have a close relationship with Ardmore Police and they are close enough to the school that they could be here in a matter of minutes to assist our SRO.
We must work to ensure we do everything we can to make our community and school as safe as possible. We rely on parents and community members to alert us to situations we may need to know about and working together we can accomplish so much more than working alone. We know there are no guarantees in life but we will continue to be vigilant to protect our most prized possessions which are our children.