3/11/16: Letter for Parents, Staff, Students and Madison Community

Ongoing Counseling and Support Services for our Students and Staff
While the number of students who sought counseling services in the aftermath of the incident reduced dramatically during the course of the days following the incident, we have continued to offer counseling for our students. Moving forward we will train our staff in counseling referral processes as well as provide information to our parents on what to look for to assist students who otherwise may not reach out for assistance.  We are in contact with outside experts in this field who are working collaboratively with our existing counseling staff to provide additional support and technical expertise.  We understand that everyone processes things differently and we will provide students and staff continued support for as long as necessary.

Safer Schools Ohio
We have partnered with the Ohio Department of Homeland Security to offer students and families an anonymous tip line to report any suspicious activity, school related threat, or concern about the welfare of a student. The tip line, 844-SAFEROH, is staffed 24-7 by trained Threat Assessment and Prevention personnel who will assess the threat and then notify the proper authorities.

Student Resource Officer
We plan to add additional Student Resource Officer (SRO) coverage on our campus, effective immediately.

Classroom door modifications
We plan to improve the safety of our classroom doors, making them even more secure by modifying or replacing the existing classroom doors. Currently many of the doors have large windows and we plan to research several options including either a roll-down steel window shade, new doors with much smaller windows, or replacing the existing glass with thicker or shatterproof glass. The purpose of this enhancement is to provide students in a lockdown situation, a nearly impassable barrier between them and the potential threat.

Handheld Metal Detectors
We will be purchasing handheld metal detectors and implementing periodic and random security checks at Madison Junior/Senior High School.  Similar to our random locker and K-9 searches, the periodic and random "wanding" of students will provide another layer of safety and security. This is no different than attending a sporting or music event that has security checks.  Our goal is not to change the friendly and supportive culture at MJSHS but to deter anyone from bringing any type of weapon onto school grounds.

Conversations of Concealed Carry Policy
We will begin conversations about policy related to selected staff being permitted to carry concealed firearms on school property. Again, the purpose of such a policy would not be to change the atmosphere or culture of MLSD, but to ensure that anyone contemplating harm to our staff or students will need to consider that in addition to School Resource Officers, they may encounter selected staff who would be trained and permitted to carry concealed firearms while on school grounds.

Safety Training for Students and Staff
While our students and staff did a tremendous job in response to the incident, we will continue to train and add additional layers to our safety and security training. After the incident, our training will never be the same and we will be able to train at a much higher level of preparedness and precision.  Our training will be based on research and best practices from local as well as national school safety experts.

Enhanced Internal Communication Systems
We will enhance our phone and intercom systems in the buildings to better keep staff and students informed during drills and emergencies.

Safety Planning Team
We will form a safety planning team consisting of staff, parents, and students to collaborate and contribute as we fine tune our safety plans, discuss ongoing safety concerns and consider additional safety and security enhancements.

These are just a few of the action and conversation items that have been discussed and will continue to be discussed moving forward.  While there is no "playbook" on dealing with such a tragedy, know that the MLSD administrative team has been in frequent conversation with local and national school safety experts in addition to other districts who have been through similar tragedies.

Thank you again for being a part of our plans to move forward together.

It is “Good to be a Mohawk” and we are “Mohawk Strong!”
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