Dear Parents and Staff,
In the wake of Friday May 17, tragic events and understandable concerns from our parents and community, I am writing to remind you of safety measures already in place. Following the high school shooting in Florida, I directed our staff to review campus emergency operations plans and ensure each employee understands his or her role in the event of a school emergency. Our police officers and security staff members undergo regular training throughout the school year.
In February, we added additional security monitoring stations and cameras to all schools and we added personnel to the security station at the Southside High School, Losoya, and Pearce entrance. These 24 security monitors and cameras record and control the exterior and interior activities of the school building to make sure all doors are locked and provide our police and security officers with information regarding any suspicious activity. This extra set of “eyes” at our schools has been a welcome addition to our security protocols.
In light of the Santa Fe High School shooting, we will bring in all Southside ISD police officers to work while the students are in school. This heightened police presence will last through the last day of school June 8th. We are working with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the San Antonio Police Department to secure additional patrols at our secondary schools. Our officers will also monitor elementary schools. I am thankful for their partnership with all law enforcement agencies.
If your child does not have to bring a backpack, gym bag, or purse to school, please keep these items at home. If they do need to bring a bag to school, check the bag for prohibited items. Effective Monday, all bags will be subject to search under heightened security measures.
Parents, we need your help. As adults, we know children use social media as a means of communication. Whether you believe your child is on social media or not, we are asking you to be vigilant. We need your help in monitoring your child’s social media sites to see what your child and their friends are discussing. We know this is a place where all threats credible or not, can be created and shared quickly. Please monitor your child’s social media activity and remind them of what is appropriate. In the event you or your child sees a post that is suspicious or threatening, do not share, report it immediately to authorities, district police, or an administrator.
All threats will be investigated by law enforcement and criminal charges will be pursued when appropriate. Making a terroristic threat or a threat resulting in bodily harm is a crime. Possessing certain unlawful weapons, including firearms, on school premises is a felony offense.
Whether it is a post on social media or suspicious behavior, please say something. Here are ways to report anonymous tips.
Call: Crime Stoppers – (210) 478-7301 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Bullying: Call or text – 1(206)406-6485
I realize we are living in uncertain times, and children are looking to you and me for solace and assurances. We must remain vigilant in our shared commitment that our schools are the center of the community and safe places where children attend to learn and grow. We can do this, together.
Thank you for your continued support of the Southside Independent School District and please keep Santa Fe ISD Schools and community in your prayers.
Mark E. Eads
Letters Sent Home [PDF]: