May 25, 2022
It seems that each spring we are reminded of the ongoing violent acts that have taken place in the schools of our nation. The horrific incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas serves as a vivid reminder that no school is immune to these atrocities.
As our nation grieves this tragedy some have asked about our school safety plans and procedures. We sincerely understand and appreciate the questions and concerns expressed on behalf of our school children and staff and recognize the responsibility we share with the broader community to keep our schools safe. We are committed to having security protocols and systems in place in each of our schools. It is a priority for us.
Please know we have safety procedures in place, regular training with staff, and we take proper actions for the safety of our students, staff, and schools. You, as parents and guardians, are part of the most effective resources we have for helping your children be safe at school. Those resources include strong two-way communication; reporting any threat of harm toward students to the school, law enforcement, or both; and using reasonable protocols together to create an environment that reassures our students that it is safe to learn.
We all need to work together to make school safe, enjoyable for everyone.
In our Bald Eagle Area schools, there is no margin for any language or act that threatens the well-being of another person. Federal and state law as well as school district policy prohibit such items as paintball guns, air soft guns and other look-alike weapons and elements thereof on school property. In the event of a threat to a school, we will work quickly and diligently to identify the delinquent individual and provide support to law enforcement. Students who communicate threats via social media or in some other fashion or possess any banned items ~ even in a joking manner ~ will be reported to the police and face suspension and expulsion proceedings.
It is well documented that in school districts that have experienced acts of violence there were students and/or adults who had information that may have prevented the injuries and deaths that followed. Had the information been shared with school officials or law enforcement, tragedies would have almost certainly been prevented. We urge students and parents to share any threatening or troubling information with our teachers, counselors, principals, or any school or law enforcement official with whom they feel comfortable.
The conduct of our Bald Eagle students is outstanding. Every day our students demonstrate they care about their education and are proud of their community and schools. Yet, it only takes one thoughtless moment, one irresponsible action by one person to do great harm. We have learned through the terrible experience of others that these dreadful events can happen in any community and in any kind of school setting.
We also would like to provide you with resources related to school safety and the aftermath of school violence. The Pennsylvania Department of Education offers the following links about how to speak with your child(ren):
As our hearts go out to families grieving in Texas, let us be reminded that safety is everyone's shared responsibility.
We thank you for your assistance and cooperation.
Joseph H. Clapper, D.Ed.