Superintendent Himmel addresses school shooting tragedy

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In the wake of the senseless tragedy that occurred in south Florida our thoughts and prayers are with the students, staff, parents, and the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community.

As we monitor the developments of this most recent school shooting we want to assure our community that the health, safety, and welfare of our students and staff will forever be our top priority. I would like to share some of the safeguards we have in place to enhance the safety of all students and staff while on our campus’.

-All schools have an established Safety Committee to recognize and address any site-specific safety-related concerns. At a minimum, this committee consists of an administrator(s), instructional staff member(s), and a support staff member(s).

-The school district has a long-standing district-wide Safety Committee that meets monthly to address any concerns that are brought forward by the schools or community. This committee is comprised of, school administrators (one from each level of education), district administrators, law enforcement and a School Board member.

-All schools have a Safe School Plan that is reviewed and updated annually by school administration, the School Resource Officer, and the school district’s Safety Project Leader.  Each school staff is trained annually and they conduct multiple drills throughout the year to practice the prescribed procedures in the school’s individualized Safety Plan.

-We have two employees who are specifically trained to assure that we meet or exceed standards regarding environmental, safety and fire regulations. These individuals regularly visit schools and conduct a variety of inspections.

-The school district openly communicates safety-related concerns, as they arise, with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

Although we have and continue to remain proactive in our approach to school safety, there are always things to learn from a crisis such as this. I have directed staff to closely monitor the developments of this school shooting and to take the necessary measures to enhance our safety efforts as a result of what we learn from this tragic event.  Once again, our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the events that occurred yesterday. I would encourage everyone to take a few extra moments to hug those that you love just a little tighter today.

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