This week has been trying given the Florida school tragedy in which 17 lives were lost. We are all too aware of the vulnerability we are feeling, but want you to be assured that Johnston County Public Schools takes no threat lightly and that safety and security remain high priority. We want you to know that we are constantly in review of our crisis plan and continue to strengthen our safety measures to protect our students and staff. All the while, we are committed to keeping you informed and answering questions you may have about school safety and security. With that in mind, I want to update you on our practices and plans.
Thanks to a strong partnership with law enforcement, each time there is an alleged threat, an analysis is conducted, and we, in turn notify you of the outcome and next steps through some means of communication.
Further, please know that the following are in the works: we have applied for a grant to place 12 more School Resource Officers in our schools throughout the district, we are upgrading our school perimeter security measures and restrictions to front-door access, and all schools have panic buttons located strategically on the campuses. We also conduct quarterly lockdown safety drills for practice.
Finally, please know that
- The district’s Emergency Management Plan is updated and revised throughout the year in collaboration with Johnston County Emergency Services and Law Enforcement;
- All administrators are participating in the FEMA sponsored course, Active Shooter: What You Can Do?;
- We have a full-scale active shooter drill simulation planned for May 2, 2018; and,
- We have eight Operation Directors, who along with our building administrators, lead our safety and security measures daily in assessing our buildings and communicating with law enforcement as needed.
It is important to remain vigilant because the safety of our students and employees is a non-negotiable in all that we do. Learning cannot occur if we all are not safe and secure.
Thank you for working together as a community on behalf of the safety and security of all.
Dr. Ross Renfrow