January 25, 2018
Dear Mercer County Families:
Tuesday’s event in Marshall County, Kentucky has reminded us how precious each and every day is with our children and students, and it breaks our hearts that this community is suffering through this tragedy now. As you can imagine, this event has led to many discussions with students and staff about how we would handle a similar tragedy and what would we do. Your children may ask you questions about their safety at school. The National Association of School Psychologist
has suggestions for parents that may help you answer their hard questions.
We have emergency plans for each school building and a district emergency plan that have all been developed with help from Kentucky Center for Safe Schools, our local police, sheriff’s department, fire departments, and emergency responders. You may hear your child talking about having practice drills for fire, earthquake, and lockdowns at school. We practice these drills so if a true emergency were to occur, students and staff are prepared to react. Prior to yesterday’s event, we had begun working with our Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to organize a mock shooter drill at one of our school buildings in the future. This mock drill would allow our local and state emergency responders the opportunity to put their training into practice and allows our staff the opportunity to learn more about what we need to do to keep students safe. We are still in the planning phases of this activity and we have not set a date yet. No students would be involved in this activity and it would occur on a day when school is not in session. We will share more information about this mock drill as we finalize plans.
Please reassure your child that if they ever have a safety concern, or see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous, or scared, to tell an adult. Children need to know that reporting safety concerns is not the same as tattling or gossiping. If they are not comfortable talking with someone at school, we ask that you contact your child’s school administrator if they report something to you.
In the event we were to have an emergency that would require us to relocate students, we need your help to keep our students safe. We ask that you do not go to your child’s school. We will notify you as soon as possible, where you can go to pick up your child using our One-Call Now system. We realize that you are concerned about the safety of your child but going to the school could hinder emergency management, law enforcement, and school officials’ effectiveness.
Although there is no absolute guarantee that bad things will not happen, we will continue to work with and learn from our local emergency responders, police, sheriff’s department, and fire department to keep our children safe. If you have questions, please contact me at 859-733-7000.