2012-12-20 / Front Page

LISD continues to keep campus safety priority

SURRATT MESSAGE

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following message is from Lindale Independent School District Superintendent Stan Surratt regarding the tragic school shooting last week in Connecticut.

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Lindale ISD is saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families and the community affected by this horrible event.

This tragedy raised many questions about crisis response and safety procedures in the Lindale Independent School District. Lindale ISD administrators and staff are aware of the concerns expressed by parents and community members.

When watching news coverage, one cannot help but think about safety at our campuses. Do we have enough security in place? Could we do more? These are questions that I immediately asked myself as superintendent.

I want to assure you that providing a safe learning environment for students is the top priority of the Lindale ISD.

The Lindale ISD has worked closely with the Lindale Police Department, Lindale Volunteer Fire Department and the Smith County Sheriff’s Department to develop a response plan that outlines procedures for campuses, teachers, students and administrators to follow in the event of an emergency.

Procedures are in place for crisis situations such as natural disasters, criminal acts and terroristic threats. These procedures were developed with input from law enforcement and emergency personnel in the spring of 2011.

The district conducts a safety audit every two years to ensure that these procedures are still effective and to consider any needed modifications.

The Lindale ISD reviews these procedures with students and staff members frequently during the course of each school year.

Fire drills are conducted monthly, weather or natural disaster drills are conducted each semester, and emergency drills are conducted quarterly. Reviews of safety procedures and drills are conducted more frequently in the LISD than the state requirement.

In the event of any necessary actions such as a lockdown or the dismissal of students, the school district will immediately notify parents through the phone messaging system, the district website and local media.

The tragic events in Connecticut on Friday have sparked many districts, including the Lindale ISD, to take a look at these policies and procedures once more. As details emerge from the tragedy, LISD administrators and staff will discuss safety measures. We understand that our students will have concerns as well.

We recognize that some parents have elected to speak to their children about the tragedy and others have not. As a district, out of respect for varying parenting styles, LISD staff members will not actively engage students in conversations about the events in Connecticut.

The tragedy in Connecticut is one that no campus or community could ever truly be prepared for, but many of the security practices of Sandy Hook Elementary School did save lives.

Our mission as school administrators is to ensure that we have safety practices in place to help prevent such horrific events. I pledge as superintendent that our district and each and every campus will have all safety procedures reviewed. In areas where we see need, new, stricter safety procedures will be implemented.

The Lindale ISD takes the responsibility of caring for and educating children very seriously. We are committed to maintaining a safe learning environment.

Sincerely,

Stan Surratt

Superintendent, LISD

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