Dear OPS Families,
Over the past several days and weeks our hearts have been heavy about the violent actions and loss of life that have impacted schools in nearby Marshall County, and more recently in Florida.
I want to take this opportunity to communicate to you that the Owensboro Public Schools takes the security of our students seriously. The safety of our students, faculty and staff has been, and always will be, our number one priority.
For years, our district and the Owensboro Police Department have worked together to ensure that our schools are safe. Our schools regularly perform drills to ensure that everyone in each building knows what to do in the event of a crisis. Our school doors are locked during the day and are only opened when a school official makes visual contact with each visitor before they are admitted into the building.
Unfortunately, we continue to hear more about social media threats. Although local law enforcement is notified, these frequent social media threats result in our students, parents and staff being concerned about their safety. As a parent, I understand the effect these rumors have on our entire community.
We will continue to use our texting system and our social media to keep you informed. If there is a credible threat, I assure you we will swiftly respond.
Finally, I ask the members of our school community to join efforts in continuing to provide a safe learning environment for the students. Please talk to your students about not sharing unfounded rumors on social media, as they make investigations more difficult. I urge parents to monitor their child's social media accounts and text messages. I encourage parents to follow their child on Snapchat and other social media outlets. Individuals who post statements intended to elicit fear will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
Checking cars, backpacks, phones and social media accounts are all responsibilities that parents should have with their children If you become aware of a potentially dangerous situation, please contact a school or law enforcement official, or report it to the OPS Tip Line linked to a STOP sign on our website homepage at owensboro.kyschools.us.
One single person can’t solve this national crisis alone. We need our entire community to help us identify those who might threaten or bring harm to our loved ones. Together, we can be the change we hope to see in our world.
Nicholas Brake, Ph.D.