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Safety Message from Dr. Cook

 

Dear Families in Rock Hill Schools,

Like everywhere we live, work and play in our community, our schools should be a place where our children, staff, and families can feel safe and secure. We have always drilled for emergencies, equipped our buildings and buses, and trained our teachers and staff to be safe and to keep our children secure.

Our world continues to change, and concerns for safety and security all across our nation continue to increase. We must continuously adapt and improve our procedures and systems to keep Rock Hill Schools safe. Recently, we have:

  • Developed situation-specific emergency response procedures,
  • Increased trainings and drills for students and staff, including a district-wide reunification drill,
  • Improved access control to our buildings and campuses,
  • Implemented visitor screenings and background checks for volunteers,
  • Updated video surveillance and alarm systems, and radio systems, and
  • Strengthened cooperative relationships with local law enforcement.

In recent weeks, a heightened awareness and vigilance by students and staff has resulted in weapons being found on high school campuses. This is alarming, yet comforting to recognize our students and staff feel safe to share information that helps to make our campuses more secure. You are likely aware it is against South Carolina law to bring a weapon onto school property. The consequence is severe, including possible expulsion, arrest, and prosecution. Beginning this week, we are adapting our procedures to be even more proactive to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and guests. As allowed by state law and board policy, we will begin random on-campus weapons screenings as a means to help deter or prevent weapons from being brought on to school grounds.

Additionally, we are improving several other aspects of our overall campus safety and security efforts, including a relaunch of our “See Something / Do Something” campaign. More information will be shared soon about the various ways tips can be submitted, including anonymous two-way text messages, phone, and online through school websites. As we prepare to host a district safety and security summit next month that will include law enforcement and other community partners. Please share your questions and concerns with us at www.rock-hill.k12.sc.us/safety.

As always, please feel free to reach out to Kevin Wren, our Director of Risk, Security and Emergency Management at kwren@rhmail.org or 803-981-1159.

 

Thank you for your trust and partnership.

William E. Cook, Jr., Ed.D.
Superintendent