Friday's Incident in Santa Fe, TX

May 22, 2018

Dear CPS Community:

Yesterday, students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School held a walkout and observed ten minutes of silence to remember the ten victims of Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School. Then, they returned safely to class.

I am deeply saddened that I must comment on another mass shooting inside a school this year. However, this is also an opportunity to express my gratitude for CPS teachers and staff, who are entrusted with keeping students safe, supported, and focused on learning every single day. Through their everyday interactions with students, and their willingness to take charge in an emergency, educators are true heroes and deserving of our thanks.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate our parents and families for all you do, most especially to soothe your frightened or worried children. If your child is troubled by news they are hearing from Texas, you may find it helpful to read the advice of the National Association of School Psychologists on Talking with Children about Violence, or this resource from Teaching Tolerance, which is addressed to teachers but provides good advice for us all.

Please know that CPS has will continue to invest significant resources in school safety. Our district benefits from strong partnerships with local Police, Fire, Human Services and Public Health agencies--which are among some of the most highly-trained and resourced in the country. Through collaborations such as Safety Net, we emphasize prevention and intervention so that we won’t need to draw on their sophisticated crisis response capabilities.

If you have not already seen it, you may find it reassuring to watch the video from the April 12 School Committee Special Meeting on School Safety, or read the Presentation from that night. This information may feel overly-detailed to many of you, but I hope it illustrates the thought and care that CPS brings in approaching these issues.

Please know that we will continue to do everything in our power to protect our students and staff. Safety is our highest priority.

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
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