Superintendent’s Message about Florida School Shooting

Picture of Tom

Feb. 16, 2018

Dear DPS Community,

Two days ago, we received news about another horrific shooting in our public schools, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., northwest of Miami. Our hearts and our thoughts go out to the victims and their families, and we stand united with the Broward County Public Schools community. Already, school districts across the country, including DPS, have rallied to offer support.

Media coverage of this tragedy may prompt questions and concerns from your children, and we want to provide resources that may help during these difficult conversations. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, high-profile acts of violence in schools can confuse and frighten students who may feel they, their friends or their loved ones are in danger. They will look to adults for guidance about how to react, and adults can help by talking with them about their fears.

For help with these conversations, please visit this online resource: “Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.” This printable handout is available in 10 languages. We also encourage you to talk with your school counselors if you need support or see any signs of distress or concerning behavior. In addition, we encourage you to reach out to the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) helpline at 720-423-3054.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. Our trained and professional Safety Team works directly with Denver Police to ensure coordinated approaches to school safety, and all schools are required to have emergency action plans. To learn more about how our Safety Team and our schools prepare for emergencies, please visit safety.dpsk12.org and click on Emergency Management Resources. There, you will find our emergency information guide for parents in 10 languages.

Finally, it’s important to remind your children that “see something, say something.” Research shows warning signs occur in more than 80% of violent incidents. Colorado’s Safe2Tell hotline at 1-877-542-7233 allows students, parents, educators and community members to report concerns anonymously. Keeping our kids, teachers and schools safe is the responsibility of everyone in our community.

Please keep the families affected by today’s school shooting in your thoughts and prayers.

Best,
Tom Boasberg