BSD7 Community Letter Regarding School Safety

BSD7 Community Letter Regarding School Safety
Posted on 02/23/2018
School Safety and Security Image

Dear BSD7 Staff, Families, and Community Supporters,

Friday, February 23, 2018

We were all impacted by recent events in Parkland, Florida. As a parent and an educator, I can share with you that my heart was broken and continues to grieve for those who lost their lives as well as for the survivors of this horrible tragedy.

Our commitment is to provide a safe environment for our students and staff. Students deserve to attend school in a physically and emotionally safe environment, free from worry about personal safety. In fact, such a safe climate is essential for learning.

The recent, horrific event in Florida underscores the importance of the relationships we have nurtured in our Bozeman school community. In times of tragedy, we must reach out to one another and provide kindness and caring.

Although we have taken many steps for school safety, we know that in these uncertain times, no organization is immune to the stark realities of violence in today’s society.

All schools in our District hold required lockdown and secure-in-place drills to help prepare our students and staff in the event of an actual emergency. The Bozeman Public Schools and the Bozeman Police Department are in very regular communication and three School Resource Officers work in our school environments, interacting with our students and staff on a daily basis. Bozeman Police Department has also increased patrols around our schools. All classrooms have an emergency manual that covers situations ranging from medical emergencies to lock downs. School staff have been trained in Run Lock Fight, which is an emergency preparedness response program in the event of an active shooter. To ensure that we are providing high levels of safety at all times, the district reviews and, when necessary, revises emergency response plans on a regular basis. We maintain a School Safety webpage that provides information for our District and our community.

Everyone plays a critical role in school safety and in the safety of our community. We will continue to emphasize to our students that if they have concerns or fears, they should seek out an adult. We will listen and act. We ask that if you know or hear of any threat to our students, staff or schools, please contact the Bozeman Police Department immediately.

Thank you for your continued support in helping to keep our schools safe.

Rob Watson, Superintendent

We know that these events can be confusing and frightening for our students. The National Association of School Psychologists has published: “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers,” which is a helpful resource to help talk about school-related tragedies with your child. Our schools have assistance available to students that may need additional emotional support through our school counselors, and other professional staff.

Additional Resources:
Talking To Children About Tragedies and Other News Events

Talking to Kids
Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers (PDF)

National Association of School Psychologists
"Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers"

Disaster Distress Hotline - a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a tragedy. The Helpline will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
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