School Safety Follow-up Message

To the Holley School Community:  
 
A few weeks ago, I wrote to you to reflect on the tragic events that occurred in Parkland, Florida. At that time, I included a link to a website resource from the American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/topics/violence/school-shooting.aspx, which offers recommendations about how to speak with your children about a traumatic event like the Parkland school shooting. In that message, I also stated that your child’s safety and the safety of our staff is always top-of-mind for the district’s leadership team, and we would continue to periodically review our safety plans and procedures. On Thursday, March 1, our team met with Chief of Police Roland Nenni and Officer David Mogle to conduct that review and consider ways to further improve our safety and security measures.   
 
As a newcomer to the community, what immediately impressed me was the high level of communication between Holley Central School District and the Holley Police Department. It was obvious that many years of cooperative planning have taken place between the two entities. I can assure you that the communication is ongoing, and we will continue to review our safety procedures. It is routine for us to have officers from the department visit our schools. These visits help them get to know students and staff and establish a knowledge of the buildings that would serve us all well in the event of an emergency. Holley CSD is also fortunate to have our own armed, contracted security staff on premises at all times that school is in session.   
 
As members of the school community, your help in keeping our schools safe and secure is appreciated. One of the best ways to assist is to remember the slogan, “See something; Say something.” The more observant parents, staff and students are, the less likely an incident will occur undetected. All community members are asked to be on the alert for any unusual or suspicious behaviors. Anyone who sees something that appears out of the ordinary — including a person paying an unusual amount of attention to a school or group of students, or a strange item like a suitcase left unattended on a sidewalk — needs to say something to the schools or police. Describe specifically what you observed, including: 
  • Who or what you saw;
  • When you saw it;
  • Where it occurred/location;
  • and Why it’s suspicious.
While we can work to improve safety plans, coordinate with law enforcement and be more vigilant, there is another important thing we can all do. We know that many times, the people who perpetrate violent acts are disaffected and lack connections to others. We can all help to reduce isolation and increase connections by encouraging our students to be involved in school activities through sports and extracurricular clubs. We can encourage our students to be a friend to others, resist bullying behaviors and speak up when they see others engaging in these behaviors. One of the strengths of the Holley community that I have seen since my arrival in the district is a sense of community, connectedness and caring.    
 
Thank you for all that you do to support Holley Schools and to help keep them a safe, secure space for students to learn.    
 
Sincerely,
John Schiess
Interim Superintendent

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