School safety in our school district l Mukilteo Schools

By Marci Larsen, Superintendent | Mar 07, 2018

The tragedy of school shootings has been in the news again recently with an event in Florida a couple of weeks ago that caused the death of 17 people.

At the same time, we were also rocked by the news that one of our own students was planning a similar attack on his classmates at ACES High School.

We have experienced a number of tragic events involving young people in our community during the last several years. Each time such an event happens, the questions understandably come up asking what we are doing to make our schools safer and more secure.

The answer is that school districts are always making improvements in those areas, not only when something bad happens.

The safety and security of our students and staff members is always a huge priority and we have implemented many programs to help bring that about.

Those efforts generally fall into three broad categories:

We are always looking at our facilities to make sure that our buildings and grounds are as secure as they can be, we practice emergency response to make sure students and staff members know what to do if an event happens, and we offer services to support the social and emotional needs of our students.

We have hired a full-time safety manager to focus on the issue every day.

For example, we have school resource officers from each of the three police jurisdictions that serve our schools, and we’ve worked with consultants to improve the security of our buildings and grounds and have installed more than 500 security cameras in our campuses.

But, while security cameras and locked entryways are important deterrents to a school shooting, our experience of a couple of weeks ago once again shows that by far the most effective way to stop such tragedies is to convince people that if they see something or hear something, they need to say something.

The warning signs are almost always noticed by someone.

In the case of our student, it was his grandmother who thought something wasn’t quite right, so she read his journals, saw detailed plans for an attack on his school, and called the police.

Reporting what she saw to police couldn’t have been an easy thing for her to do, but it was certainly the right thing.

Thanks to that grandmother’s brave action and the work of the Everett Police Department, many lives were likely saved, including the life of her grandson.

If you see or hear something, say something.

Call the police or your school’s building administrator if you become aware of any threat to a school or if you see anything that seems suspicious.

For the last couple of years, we have had a program in place that may help in that effort.

Called the SafeSchools Alert Hotline, it allows students, parents, staff members, or anyone from the community to leave an anonymous tip about anything that they think may be unsafe or worth another look by someone in authority.

You can call or text the hotline at 425-374-0021 or send an email to 1438@alert1.us.

School safety and security is something we focus on every day. If you want to learn more, visit our website.

But, it’s important that you know that school security is a shared concern.

It’s an issue that everybody can have a hand in solving by working together for the safety of our kids and community.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.