Recently, the local and national discussion has been dominated by school security. The tragedy in
Florida has put the spotlight on what we can do to keep students and staff as safe as possible at school. The
morning after the Parkland incident, Police Chief Dean Bliss and I met to discuss the District’s safety plans. As
we discussed our preparedness, we agreed that the District is doing pretty well. Many of the recommendations
from security experts are already in place, e.g. we lock all of our doors, buzz visitors into the buildings, make
use of cameras where possible, have a School Resource Officer, conduct drills, and have provided staff with
training. Chief Bliss has strengthened the Police Department’s response protocols to be even more complete as
they investigate potential threats. Our conversation continues as we discuss how we can be more thorough and
diligent in the future.
As I told FCS staff after the incident, besides the procedural aspect of emergency response procedures,
we must continue to be aware of the relationship and human side of these stories. We need to watch for signs
of stress and assure meaningful connections for children at school. We need to make sure that kids see school
as a place where they are safe and valued.
I sent my two sons to Fremont City Schools for all of their educational careers. I trusted every morning
as I sent my “Little Giants” off to school that the District would do everything it could to keep them safe. Safety
will remain a priority.
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